Sunday, July 24, 2011


As mentioned in the previous post, I like free places that are also educational. So 2 weeks ago, on a day that we didn't have anything else planned, I took the girls to the Planetarium at the Gateway. You have to pay for parking and movies at the Planetarium cost $6-$8, but the exhibits are free. And the Gateway does have the water play area as well.

Ella had gotten a coupon for a free lunch at Costa Vida from her kindergarten teacher, so I took the girls out to lunch. It was quite good. I got a chicken raspberry chipotle salad (the small size) and it was delicious...and the perfect size for me. And unlike most times when we've taken our kids out to eat, they just about cleaned their plates...only a few bites of food went uneaten. :)

Then we headed to the planetarium. They loved the Newton's laws ball area that shows that an object in motion will remain in motion and in the same direction unless a force is exerted on it to cause it to change direction or stop. They also enjoyed watching the Foucalt pendulum. Ella thought it was fun to see how much she would weigh on other planets. They have displays that tell about the planets in our solar system and then you can take a little quiz on a computer0 to see what you learned.

There is an area that tells about comets, asteroids and meteors and you can lift an iron meteorite to see how heavy it is. Ella and Michelle both had a hard time lifting it.

There are a couple of telescopes that point to a tiny picture of Saturn on the wall and you can see how much bigger it looks in the telescopes.

There's a place where a light is shining and you can put a prism under it or a concave or convex mirror to see how the shape of the light changes.

It's worth the couple of dollars parking fee...especially because Michelle and Ella also got to run through the water area afterward. (Gabby absolutely hates sprinklers or any kind of water that sprays on you. She likes baths and pools but doesn't like water spraying or splashing at all.)

For some reason, I only took a few photos (usually I err on the side of overtaking photos...but not this time. :))