Thursday, October 6, 2016

Adventures with a One-Year-Old, 9/19 and 9/20/2016

Wanting to spend some time outdoors with our grandson, Andrew, we made our way with his parents to Frank Liske Park. It's a beautiful, 238-acre, park near Concord, NC, with lots of facilities for family fun, including a 10-acre lake for fishing and paddle boating, picnic shelters/sites, horseshoe pits, volley ball courts, lighted tennis courts, walking/nature trails, and miniature golf. There are also an 11-field soccer complex and a softball complex. A large barn has 4 rental areas that can be reserved for birthday parties, reunions, and other family get togethers (go to website to reserve online). The park is managed as a wildlife and nature preserve by the county. 

We went to the toddler playground. Andrew is such an inquisitive little boy that he had great fun exploring the playground equipment. 

I know this is a place where he will visit many times over the years. For additional information about the park, check out their website.,

The next day, we went to Discovery Place Kids in nearby Huntersville, NC. It is a non-profit, learning-focused, museum with interactive exhibits. John, Zach, Rachel, Andrew, his 4-year old cousin, Ella, and I visited on a Tuesday afternoon (not crowded). 

There are multiple theme areas on the two floors of the museum based around the concept of a small town. Below is a summary of some exhibits we saw...there are many more!

The I Can Work theme area was the first one the kids explored. The firefighter section features a full size fire truck where you can get behind the wheel, dress up as fireman (or woman), and more. There was an ambulance/EMT display. And the veterinary office provides the opportunity for kids to care for (stuffed) animals. 

We especially liked the bank (Rachel is a branch manager at a bank in real life!). Ella enjoyed the drive-through where an air-carrier system lets you pretend you are depositing and/or withdrawing money. 

The I Can Be Healthy theme area has a very cool cafe (complete with oven, cash register, tables, etc.), a farm, fitness center and doctors office where kids can examine (doll) babies. 

The I Can Explore - Underwater theme area had a interactive submarine has gears, lights, and alarms. We could hardly get Ella out of there! John was explaining to Andrew about being a captain of a ship. And I just loved this octopus and other decor in this room.

The I Can Move theme area has a race care and auto repair shop. A train table and boat with a backdrop of Lake Norman can also be seen in this area. The airport on the second floor has a security entrance and an airplane for young pilots to imagine flying.

At the Town Center, Ella, John, and other kids enjoyed dressing up in some of the costumes you can find backstage. Andrew and John had fun playing the "pots." This is one of Andrew's favorite activities at home!

The I Can Grow theme area is designed for 0-36-month-old kids and features a playhouse, soft-play spaces, and a water table with infant seating. Andrew loved playing in the water with the many fun toys provided. 

I think the I Can Build theme areas where Andrew's favorite. There are various tubes, blocks, connectors, bricks, etc., for creative construction projects. A roller coaster that carries a ball through peaks and valleys can also be constructed. 

Honestly, the theme areas here were so creative! The goal of the museum is to activate the imagination of children and I think it does this very, very well. It is definitely worth a visit if you have a child four years old or younger. And fun for adults as well! Admission is $10 per (adult, senior, children over 1-year old). Annual family memberships are available for $130. There is another Discovery Place in the Charlotte area that is designed for older children. 

No comments:

Post a Comment