We visited another city that is new to us, as recent mid-westerners. Des Moines may seem isolated and distant from a lot of things--like both the east and west coasts (and consequently any beach), not to mention most of our family. But we are only 3-5 hours from several interesting mid-western cities, and we're trying to take advantage of that.
So during Spring Break last month, we drove 250 miles north to what Ansley named, "Minneus-apolis." We stayed for a few days, and found lots of things to fill our time.
Our first stop was the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, to visit the free art museum housed there. We were impressed. There were a wide variety of exhibits--including some very funky things to liven up the experience--and some great originals by legendary artists. We had a good time.
We like to incorporate cultural experiences into our lives and our trips when we can, to build up tolerance in our kids for this type of thing. They did well, but after a few hours of looking at art...it was clear they were done.
The next day we hit the Science Museum (free with our local museum's member reciprocal program) and the Como Park Zoo (also free--love that).
Lots of cool stuff. But our little brood became fascinated with a display where kids could role play as newscasters. There were teleprompters scrolling scientific stories that you read as your image was projected onto a TV screen. Pretty cool. They all loved it, but no one enjoyed watching themselves on screen like Tessa did. She is our little performer. She did this over and over, and after we left that area it was all she could talk about, and she begged to go back...two more times. It was pretty cute to watch her animated face and hand gestures as she "reported" on the various stories.
The zoo was super fun, too. We spent the most time watching the adorable orangutans and the playful polar bears.
Hard to tell, but there is a cougar lying in the rock cave behind Tyler. Love those cougs...
Of course we spent some time at the hotel--playing in the pool and hot tub...and lounging on the AC unit...?
And our last day was reserved for the Mall of America. We felt obligated to check it out, this Minneapolis landmark, and it is...gigantic--unlike any mall you've ever seen. We aren't much into shopping, but we did make sure to go to H&M (I have missed that), the Swatch store for Tom, the LEGO Store, and the American Girl Store. The latter happens to be situated right outside the Nickelodeon Amusement Park that is also inside the mall. The large windows made it pretty hard for the boys to be interested in all those dolls.
We decided to indulge everyone in a few rides, and they all had a blast. There were thrilling, big-kid rides, as well as tame, little-kid rides--something for every age. The facial expressions say it all.
Oh, and if you're wondering...yes, that is a pacifier in Ansley's mouth in several of the photos. We get even lazier about restricting it when we're away from home. I know, shame on me...