To The Science Center!

Right before the Webmaster went to Portland last week, we finally got around to going to the Pacific Science Center to see the Star Wars exhibit.  We had planned on going the weekend before, but Tad got sick, so that got scratched.  The Webmaster and I knew we were running quite a risk in even heading downtown, because:
1) The Mercer Street exit (the most direct route to and from the Center) was closed for the weekend, and
2) The exhibit was sold out online.

Yes, you read that right.  What we had discovered was that the Science Center had a set number of people it would let in per every 15 minutes.  When the maximum capacity was reached, that time slot registered as “sold out.”  When we called the Center, they did tell us that they set aside a few tickets for “walk-ups,” but there were no guarantees that these would still be there when we arrived.

So, we took a chance and got there at 10 am, when the Science Center opened.  The Webmaster got in line for admission and the kids and I waited on benches nearby.  Well, kind of.  I sat on a bench.  Rerun sat in his stroller.

Tad and Ane… well…

Anyway, the Webmaster finally got to the front of the line, and I was feeling very nervous as I was watching families with kids show up – families in the same boat we were.  I saw at least two families walk away because they couldn’t get tickets.  One case was especially sad – they had driven in from out of town and bought tickets online, but not for the Star Wars exhibit because the person who bought them online thought that was included with admission.

The Webmaster called me on my cell phone and told me that there were 3 tickets available for 3:45 pm.  That was it unless we wanted to wait until 6:30 pm.  They were keeping the exhibit overnight on this last weekend, so there were late night/early morning tickets available, but that was pretty much it.  3:45 was our best chance.  I told him to take it, even though that meant one of us would have to sit it out.  At least the kids would get to see it.  Ane, who had been warned that we might not get in, was ecstatic.  Tad, who had not been told what we were up to, was kind of confused, but agreeable.

The Webmaster told me that I should take the kids (Happy Mother’s Day!), and he would keep Rerun.  Since it was only 10 am, and we wouldn’t get in until 3:45 to see the Star Wars portion, we had plenty of time to get breakfast at Starbucks at the Center House (hot chocolate and doughnuts for the kids, yogurt from home for Rerun, coffee and a scone for the Webmaster, mocha and old-fashioned doughnut for me), and then go and see all the other exhibits at the Center that we wanted.

The animatronic dinosaurs that I saw as a kid back in the 80’s… are still around (though I’m sure they’ve gotten a bit of a facelift between now and then).

It’s nice that this particular exhibit has had such lasting power.

And I found that there are three types of kids who see this exhibit – those who freak out, those who are tentative yet curious, and those who are thrilled with everything in it.

My children are clearly in the latter group.

After the dinosaurs, we came upon the space exhibit, which details the planets and highlights the Gemini missions, right down to a replica capsule that kids can sit in and hear recordings of the astronauts as they re-entered Earth’s atmosphere in these capsules.

I’m sure I sat in this capsule myself when I was a kid.

Rerun was finally able to get out of the stroller in the tots area, which had lots of fun toddler toys.  The older two were also able to go in that area, which had lots of tactile toys and areas to play.

Of course, you can’t miss the water table.

And as the kids were playing, the Webmaster was in yet another line.  Our Star Wars experience was about to begin…

One Response to “To The Science Center!”

  1. Oddball
    May 17th, 2011 12:26