Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Spooktacular at the Museum of Life and Science

The boys and I went to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham today for their Halloween Spooktacular event. On the drive to the museum, the fall colors were out in all their glory, but it was rainy and dark out. We were glad to have some special activities to do inside at the museum once we got there. It was a little after 10, and our timing was great to get in on all the special events going on. First, it was up to the Chemistry Lab for some Spooky Chemistry presented by the Research Triangle Park Profressional Chapter Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity. The kids wrote their names using laundry detergent with whiteners and learned and watched it light up under a black light. They learned the difference between fluorescent and phosphorescent. The kids did a candy chromatography lab using the dye from M&M candies. They saw capillary action move salt water and the dye up a piece of paper. That was cool. They also made some fluorescent slime. We thoroughly enjoyed this lab. Joey got to sit up at the chemistry table, and it was great to see him participating while Johnny and I cheered him on and took pictures.

Next, we checked out Wolfman Tim's Halloween Village. Think tables with a huge village scene of houses, graveyards, a Scare Fair (like state fair but spooky), a train, and lots of neat lights. The boys and I were fascinated by this. They kept pressing the buttons to light stuff up and make the train go. Meanwhile, mom was busy trying to capture the village in pictures.

There was also a great magician's show that we were able to attend in the afternoon. Joshua Lozoff performed some Deep Magic and included the kids in the audience throughout his show. He talked about how his fascination with magic started as a child when he went to see a magician for the first time. At the end of the show, he invited a child up on stage to help him teach the audience a basic magic trick using a hollowed out egg and a scarf. We all enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes steps necessary to pull off the trick. And he even threw in an extra trick at the end with a real egg. Really cool stuff, and Joey is asking to learn some magic of his own now.

Because of the rain, we never made it out to Explore the Wild today. Bummer. We did see Ranger Greg assisting some museum visitors with his golf cart and got to briefly say hello.

Thankfully, it was just sprinkling when it was time for our train ride. It was great to see Richard back driving the train. We'd missed him.

We made it over to the butterfly house just in time for the release. It was, um, extra crowded today. Thanks to the kindness of a child that got a butterfly put on their hand, they shared with Johnny who shared with Joey and we got to visit with a very nice Halloween colored butterfly. Getting lucky enough to hold a butterfly is always very special to the boys.

As you can see, we had another fun-packed day at the museum. Rain or shine it's a great place to be. And, we'll be back soon!

The rest of today's best pics can be found here (got forward in the album).