Daytona Beach, FL - 11/29/2011

Published at 11:00 PM in , , ,

Today we went to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida.  This museum houses an African, Cuban, and Chinese art collections, an extensive Americana and Coca Cola collection, a planetarium, children's museum, classic train car displays, and much more.  This was a fabulous museum where we could have spent another day.  There aren't as many pictures as we would have liked.  They only allow pictures in the children's museum, the train cars, and at the Giant Ground Sloth, and even then only without a flash.  So we took what we could.

This periscope actually allowed you to peer into the next room!

The children's portion of the museum had several interactive stations when you first walked in.  One especially neat part had a fan with a clear tunnel above it.  The object was to take a plastic badminton bird, hold it over the fan, release it, and see how far it would go through the tunnel.  It suggested that you change the wings of the bird to see if that affected the outcome.  The kids figured out that if you bent the wings outward, it would fly through the tunnel and out the top.  It was a lot of fun.

Another section of the children's museum housed a pretend pizza parlor, construction site, and a doctor's office.  The doctor's office had so many things that the kids could do to see how they worked.  It had a clogged artery (made of plastic), x-rays to view, and even a little ultrasound wand and plastic dummy to practice on - which unfortunately wasn't working.  They had a little dark room with glow in the dark skeleton pieces so you could join all the bones together to make your own skeleton.  I loved that this tied in with the Science unit Rachael has been working, a unit on bones.  The girls also pretended to work in the 'front office' and Michael, Jim, and I were the 'patients' waiting to see the doctor.

In the doctor's office section

After that, we moved onto a section about energy.  Light energy, energy from working - pedaling a bicycle, in this case - and how machines make work easier.  And of course there was a building block section.  We always enjoy these, although I don't know why.  When all three of them were little, blocks weren't something they were especially interested in.  What was neat about this one was that it provided instructions on how to build some pretty neat structures.

Hard at work

The next stop was the planetarium.  There were two shows featured, and we watched them both.  The first was about constellations and how to find them, and some of the planets, in the night sky.  I can honestly say the kids learned more from this than all the other planetarium shows we have seen combined.  It was great!  The second show was an animated feature that told the story of Orion that helped ancient Greek's remember the stars as their navigational aids. It was neat to hear the ancient stories, although the kids wondered why they were so long and involved just to remember the stars.

After the planetarium, we went through the Americana and Coca Cola displays.  Also within this section was a temporary exhibit of Christmas trees.  The trees were donated and decorated by local charities as a fundraiser for the museum.  Each tree featured a silent auction, with most of the starting bids set at $200.  Rachael wanted to know why we couldn't just bid on one!  Wouldn't that be nice? But since most of them were going for more than a tank of diesel for us - I don't think so!  We really enjoyed that part, and loved seeing all of the creative ideas for themes.  There were nautical themes, a Boston Red Sox theme, a musical one, and one decorated with a nature theme.  By far the most interesting one was the very first one you see walking in the door.  It was a full size mannequin, and her dress was the decorated tree part.  I'm not sure who would want that as a decoration in their home, but perhaps it would be perfect for a dress shop. 

The music-themed tree

We also toured the train cars, the antique furniture collection, and visited the temporary exhibit of the Giant Ground Sloth fossil.  If 'Sid' from the movie Ice Age was that size, he was no little guy! 

We would have gladly stayed longer, but the museum was closing, and we were all anxious to get on the road to Jacksonville to see my sister, Lori, and her husband, Keith. 

We drove up to Jacksonville and met Keith and Lori for dinner, and then followed them back to their home.  Take a look - we got the RV in their driveway - but you can only view if you are logged into Facebook and 'Like' the Motorhome Moments Facebook page!   This did turn out to be the last day we could comfortably wear shorts and flip-flops, too.  Boo.  It was quite chilly in Jacksonville.

Please enjoy the pictures in the Photo Gallery!

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