Sunday, March 27, 2011

World of Wonders-and we're not stuck in Lodi

I have had an irrational fear of being stuck in Lodi for probably at least 20 years. OK, maybe it's not so much an irrational fear as an underlying current of discomfort every time I drive through that town, and since I've lived on one end or the other of California my whole life, and I have family scattered on both ends of the state, I've driven through Lodi more times than I can count. In all these times, I have never actually stopped, that is until this time. I have however, had Creedence Clearwater Revival in my head every time I pass through.

Before take off for our South West adventure, Girl Child had the job of scoping out all the reciprocal museums that are affiliated with the local science museum that we are members of. One of these is the World of Wonders Museum in Lodi. Homeschooling, museum loving mom that I am, I decided to brave my fears, and stop. Besides I really liked the name WOW- World of Wonders.

It was a bit hard to find, because while most cities have signs pointing the way to their museums, Lodi did not. But, after driving through some sketchy areas, which I am very glad we did not get stuck in, we found our way there. It was exactly the kind of place Dear Husband would have hated- everything was hands on. It was like a mini Exploratorium filled with exhibits you could touch, shake, move and explore to learn about scientific principles. There were also a bunch of germy children playing with everything which is of course to be expected. The museum was pretty small, which was OK, because I didn't really want to spend all day, but it was fun, and a good place to get out of the car, stretch and play. I especially liked the experiments with bending light, Boy Child enjoyed the air and wind force exhibits and Girl Child's favorite was something with a pulley and rope that had a cool motion effect, but no sign explaining what was going going on.

I wonder how many people read signs in museums anyway? I was reading one aloud about this magnetic gravity thing, and another mother came over and said “Wow- you're really smart! You really know what you're talking about.” I felt a little silly admitting that I was just reading the sign, but she looked like “oh- there's signs?” In hindsight, it would have been fun to cat like I was just a big smarty pants, but at the moment, I didn't have the energy to pull off being overly knowledgeable about scientific principles.

Anyhow, after about an hour I could no longer contain the urge to wash my hands and make my children do the same, but by that time we had pretty much played with everything, and it was good time to hit the road again.

We were glad we stopped, and more glad that we weren't stuck. If you're ever passing through Lodi with kids though, I'd say a visit to the World of Wonders is worth the stop.

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