This past summer, we bought a family membership to visit several children's museums across the country. Call me unambitious, but I think we'll just stick to the three museums in town. The three museums in the Los Angeles area are Kidspace, Zimmer, and Skirball Cultural Center.
We visited the Skirball Museum to explore their Noah's Ark exhibit, and it was a really cool place for the kids. Everything in the exhibit is hands-on which means two things: 1) Kids are able to learn through independent exploration and sensory experience; 2) I could never bring Crazy Gaga to this place because there isn't enough Purell in the world to sanitize this place.
Instead of going through a wordy description of the entire exhibit, I thought I would share a few pictures with some snarky commentary. And to make it extra fun, there was a surprise celebrity guest at the museum, so I'll drop off some random hints as we make our way through Noah's Ark.
You begin your adventure in this 8,000 square feet attraction by getting ready for the impending flood. As you can see in these pictures, Andrew and Emma are creating a dramatic rainfall. There is another area where you can create thunder. And lastly, I decided I would contribute something to this area by giving a generous donation of wind. Warm, musky wind.
CELEBRITY GUEST HINT #1: This person probably does not live a simple kind of life like Noah.
When you turn around, you see the outside of the ark. By the looks of it, Noah has been preparing his solo spot for the Chabad Telethon too much because the ark is not quite ready to take on the flood. But don't worry because you're able to collect wooden slats to build the ark and place matching foam animals on the conveyor belt to get them inside the ark.
At first, Emma and Andrew didn't realize what the conveyer belt did. So, I grabbed a couple of foam animals, turned the crank, and demonstrated to them how to get their sponge gazelles into the ark. Call me the Pied Piper of Conveyer Belts because once I showed our kids how to do, there was a gaggle of toddlers drooling over foam sloths, llamas, and zebras.
When you enter the ark between two wooden camels, there is once again a variety of activities for your child to engage. You can enter wooden crates and pull on rope to activate windows and hatches. There is a three foot model of a ark that you can play with much akin to a doll house. But most surprising to me is that there was a kiosk that sold dill pickles and a gift store that sold t-shirts that said "I Told You So!" inside the ark.
CELEBRITY GUEST HINT #2: When this celebrity's child was being too timid to play with some of the exhibits, the child was told "What you waiting for?"
There is also this wall of various stuffed animals that children can match up into pairs. Emma thought this was a fun thing to do and was curious about the different names of the animals. As I watched Emma play with these dolls and move them from shelf to shelf, I wondered what Crazy Gaga would've thought about Emma playing with these dolls. All I could come up with is that she'd probably see this wall of dolls like this:
The last room of the gallery was Emma and Andrew's favorite. It was one gigantic room of platforms, ladders, tunnels, and ramps. The idea is that you are inside the ark with the animals and you need to clean, feed, and care for them on multiple levels. The realism of the room went as far as having fake poop on the floor and nearby brooms and buckets. Personally, I'd second guess the animal poop when you have some kids running around with unusually loose diapers.
We probably spent an hour and a half at the Noah's Ark attraction. I must say there was a great amount of thought and creativity that went into this project. Every animal in this exhibit was made from recycled items. Flamingos were made out of pink fly swatters, kiwi birds were made out of boxing gloves, and the mane of a lion was made from hundreds of keys. I think the skin on the alligator may have even been made from recycled DVDs of a couple of my failed television shows.
All in all, the Skirball Cultural Center's Noah's Ark attraction was a great way to spend a few hours on a windy weekend. There is no doubt that we will be returning to this place in the near future. Get it? No doubt...What you waiting for...Simple kind of life...
That's right...the celebrity guest was...
I hope you enjoyed playing this game. And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to hollaback. Get it? Hollaback? Hollaback Girl?