Monday, September 13, 2010

Heroes and Villains Day Two

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham had a great idea this year and decided to host their popular Heroes, Villains and Special Effects event on both Saturday and Sunday. And, the boys and I had such a good time on Saturday, that we decided to go back on Sunday as well.

The boys posed with their favorite characters again. I really like the shots I got today (as well as the ones from yesterday). Johnny was more comfortable on Sunday, and that shows positively in the pictures. A big thanks again to the Carolina Garrison for helping to make so many smiles this weekend!

There really are some great special effects exhibits at this event too. It's not all Star Wars. But, some of the special effects stuff is geared towards the older kids, so I don't get to spend much time in these areas...yet. We did stop in for a minute to watch the actor below getting his face made up for a scary movie part. I was explaining to the boys all the work that goes into making up some actors for their parts; it can take hours.

One of the things the boys really wanted to do more of today was Contraptions. A little over a year ago, the museum turned one of their small rooms near the weather exhibits into the Contraptions room and filled it with plumbing pipe, wood blocks, golf balls, rope, dominoes, pulleys, clamps, some kitchen tools, little metal buckets, and I'm sure a few things I am leaving out. Kids (and adults) come in and are inspired through pictures, videos, file cards, and their own imagination to build their own contraption. The boys LOVE this room, and we spent an hour in here yesterday building at least 5 different projects. I had to pull them out to do something else. They easily could have stayed for another hour.

There is a Contraptions page on the museum website if you're interested.

Here's a video of Joey and his Slingshot Pinball contraption:

We look forward each visit to seeing the animals and wildlife at the museum too. Joey loves the opossum and woodchuck that are housed inside. Johnny loves to watch the turtles swim in their tanks. We stop by each visit, usually 2 or 3 times, to see all the animals in the Farmyard. They are all so much fun, but I love Max the Jersey Cow and Lightning the Donkey. Mom always looks for the Great Blue Heron and other birds out in the wetlands area too. We have great experiences with various animals each time we come and always leave with smiles and a few pics.

The boys and I remind you to have fun and to make sure you ride the train on your next visit. And, whatever you do, don't forget to scream in the tunnel!

The rest of yesterday's pics are here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heroes and Villains Oh My!

The boys and I had a fantastic time at the Heroes, Villains and Special Effects event at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham today. This is at least our 3rd year coming to the event, and we thoroughly enjoy it each time!

Below is a collage of the boys (and me) posing with various characters. There were quite a few to choose from! And, they were spaced out all over the main building with very reasonable and orderly waits to see them.

As you can see, both boys really enjoyed posing although Johnny avoided the Stormtroopers.

One of the biggest hits with my boys was R2-KT. She's a very special droid built to help a little girl who had cancer. Today, she's still helping other sick kids by making hospital visits and sharing good cheer. Joey was just fascinated that R2-D2 had a girlfriend. He was talking about the droid he wants to build when he grows up. He even got to hold R2-KT's radio control unit for a minute and talk to the gentleman that build the R2-D2 unit. Very cool!

One of the fun things you could do in the Mercury room today was stand in front of a green screen and pose in what I'm going to call a comic cover. Johnny was amazed by the technology, and Joey was super into his poses. The pics the people at this booth took will be on the museum's Flickr account shortly. Until then, here are shots I took of the movie screen where the images were being projected.

We did many of our usual things at the museum today too. The boys spent quite a while in the Contraptions play area. They seriously could spent an hour or more in there each visit they love it so much.

We visited with the inside and outside animals. Joey was excited that the woodchuck was awake. Lightning the donkey and Max the Jersey cow were both quite affectionate today at their fences. We even got to watch Gus and Yona, two of the museum's black bears, tumbling around in some excited play in their yard.

We most always make it to the butterfly house for the 3PM release on the days we visit, and today was no exception. I was thrilled that both boys got to hold a butterfly. I love the smile on Johnny's face in the picture in the collage below. I was excited about the butterfly shots I was able to get both outside in the butterfly garden and inside waiting for the release.

I was joking with Train Conductor Richard that the majority of pics of me and the boys that I have were taken by him! He always offers if time allows.

Johnny wanted to go play in the water first thing, and I had to tell him no. I promised last thing because I knew one or both of them were going to get wet. I wasn't, um, disappointed! Johnny is having the time of his life getting soaked:-) Thankfully, I had a change of clothes in the car:-)

The rest of the pics are here.