First it was picking a day that would work for all of us as I wanted to be sure that the older boys could go, and one were I could make sure the littlest had a good nights rest. Then I went to the website to explore the activity we were going to do, and then it was on to the library website. Where I requested a bunch of books and a video on the topic we were going to explore.
The topic for this trip was Leonardo da Vinci, at Union Station - Davinci which is a hands on exploration of his ideas. The books that I found the most useful for the nine year old to prepare him were Monday with a Mad Genius and the companion book Leonardo Da Vinci - Research Guide . We also used Leonardo Da Vinci - The world's greatest Artists books, and the night before we went we watched Leonardo da Vinci - Animated Hero Classics.
Proof that more then one of the kids went most of the pictures are of Aidan mostly because he was with me.
There are plenty of books out there also for older children and adults, and a selection of videos on Amazon Prime, and Netflix. We really didn't do any of these for the older kids since they already had a knowledge about da Vinci and the Renaissance.
The morning of I made sure to feed them all a large breakfast and even packed a snack for the car to offer them just before we went in. Then it was on to the adventure. In order to save some money we also purchased a membership to Union Station which made the tickets to the exhibit less expensive. I know buying a membership to get pay less for special tickets why, it does make sense for us and I'll write about that later.
After the video we entered the exhibit, the first items were the no touch items and were great to look at, the youngest rushed forward and pointed out the wing hanging from the ceiling. He shouted " Mom it's just like the one in the book" We split up with the teens taking time to look at stuff they found interesting, the dad taking pictures of almost everything, and me and Aidan following his interests. There was plenty of things that were hands on, it was great to see someone build his ideas and get to play with them.
A tank idea
Lots of cranks, and levers, and gears
The best moment was when we entered the section on art and there was a full size reproduction of the Last Supper. Aidan was shocked, we had to explain it wasn't the real one that one is painted on a wall. He enjoyed looking at it up close and asked were was the door that was cut into it, as he remembered that from one of the books. Then he turned the corner and saw what he had been looking for the Mona Lisa, being a reproduction he got close to it and in awe said that someday he was going to see the real one.
The older kids were not done yet, so Aidan and I headed back in the exhibit to the room with blocks, a wind tunnel and instructions for building helicopters. This kept him busy until the older kids were done.
We really enjoyed this outing, and I liked the fact that you could roam the exhibit as you liked and that there was a lot of hands on fun. Prepping Aidan with books and a video was the one thing that made this a great trip for him. We ended up the day checking out Science City more about that later and dinner at a restaurant that brings your food to you by train.