Yes, we had to take a trip to Boston Children’s Hospital as a part of our continuing family epilepsy adventure, but there was no chance that we were going to take such a trip without injecting a whole lot of fun into it. Life is full of many kinds of adventures, and it’s important to mix the fun ones in with the scary ones. We have been to Boston a few times before, seen the Red Sox play at Fenway Park, checked out the aquarium and ridden the swan boats, and so it was time to check out three places we’d never been for 2016 Adventure #3!
The first (and best) place we ventured to was Boston Children’s Museum. My wife and I both have fond memories from our respective childhoods that swear to us that this is the most fun and exciting place in existence. We were not disappointed.
The thing about BCM is that it was a prophetic standard bearer for what a children’s museum should be. You can now find similar places all over the country that blend learning, playing, and physical fun. Port Discovery in Baltimore is the one that we have visited the most often, but we have seen several others. But don’t think that just because others have jumped on the bandwagon that BCM has been left behind. It has not. Starting with the giant three-story web of nets and boards that the kids dove into upon arrival, the whole complex is a delightful wonder from entrance to exit.
Edward’s favorite thing was the seat that you could sit on to pull your own weight, literally. He hoisted himself up into the sky over and over again until his muscles ached. If I hadn’t pulled him away, he would still be there now.
Ruby loved the Native American exhibit, and especially the bubble room. And in between we drove school buses, shot balls into the air and across the room, played with light and shadow, and built castles and forts. This was the perfect activity to take our minds off the medical appointment we were on our way to.
The next day, after a successful consultation, we decided to check out Legoland Discovery Center, because we had a free coupon, and also because we love LEGO! So let me start by saying this to you. Legoland Discovery Center is very expensive. Children do not get a discount. It’s not as much as, say, Disney World, but for what you get it is a lot of money. Maybe the adults should get a discount; the place is clearly for kids, despite the all-ages appeal of LEGO.
You start out watching a movie about how LEGO bricks are made, and then you are let out onto a pretty cool ride, which consists of a car going around a flat track, but you get a gun and get to shoot targets and enemies all along the way. Edward and I had to try it twice. There is also one other ride there, a circular up and down ride in which you pedal quickly to gain altitude and stop pedaling to drop back down.
There was a laser maze that we waited in a line a while for, but eventually gave up and left to do something else. The lines were incredibly long, although when we returned to that first ride, there was no line at all. I think you have to time your visit correctly. Don’t show up right when they open. Oh, and even though their website says they open at 10, that is only for season pass holders, as we found out at around 10:20. For the general public, they open at 11.
They have a very cool LEGO representation of Boston, complete with characters from The LEGO Movie invading some of the city’s famous locales. And speaking of The LEGO Movie, there was a 4-D movie starring the film’s characters that we all greatly enjoyed. I would say that, overall, the place was good, but the employees seemed bored and unhelpful, and the incorrect opening times and large crowds were a little frustrating. But the kids did not notice these things and had a great time!
But we had to pull them away from their LEGOs so that we could make it to the U.S.S. Constitution! It is only open from 2:30-4 in the winter, so we had a small window of opportunity to check out Old Ironsides. And do you know what is great about the oldest surviving warship in the world? Tours are free! We arrived full of sandwiches and anger at being pulled away from the LEGOs, and followed a naval soldier up the gangplank to check out this piece of history.
At this point we began to consider whether three adventures in one might be one adventure too many. Everyone was tired, slightly grumpy, and a little cold. Edward got mad about who knows what, and skulked off to a secret room alongside the captain’s cabin where he sat in the window seat and gazed out through the glass, contemplating the futility of being.
But we rallied, came out of the hold of the ship, and successfully completed yet another fantastic adventure. Two months in and 3 adventures down. This is good, in case we need to skip a month; we have one in the adventure bank. But why sit around and use up banked adventures? No! Onward and upward to the next great family adventure!