Fun at the Greensboro Children’s Museum…

We’ve been enjoying our stay in North Carolina very much!  Now that the ice has melted, the kids and I have been getting out and about while the others have been volunteering with ice storm cleanup.  I’ve been trying to get the work crew to bring me home some decent pictures to post, but they’ve been too busy working to bother with my request! LOL!   Last Thursday, the littlest 6 and mom spent the day in Greensboro.  We first visited the Greensboro Historical Museum, then walked across the street to finish out our day at the Greensboro Children’s Museum!

The kids loved it right away, and beat me to the front, where there is a maze painted on the ground…DSC_0141_040In the lobby are some fun tables full of blocks, and big nuts and bolts, to keep the kidlets busy while you get tickets.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an armchair in a children’s museum before,DSC_0148_047but this one sure was a hit with the kids!  It was so fun the girls ASKED to have their picture taken in it!  :)

DSC_0152_051 The well-maintained museum is over 33,000 sq ft, chock full of energy burning activities!
Heading down Main Street,

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the girls’ first stop was The Market.

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This fun grocery store had lots of realistic groceries to choose from, including the store bakery, were the kids could dress up in the baker’s coat and assist the customers to choose their foods out of the stocked case.  DSC_0167_066The market has multiple checkouts, and the tills are stocked with play money. Peanut is quite the little worker, and went from being the produce manager, to the baker, to the cashier… (she is just a Very Busy child all the time! LOL!)
DSC_0163_062Course, if the girls would have been thinking ahead, they probably would have hit the Pizza Pan before grocery shopping instead of after, and saved money by not shopping on empty stomachs  😉DSC_0226_119The Get Out and Play area was one of Caleb’s favorites!

DSC_0175_071 Did you know that Greensboro is the North American headquarters for Volvo truck?  Volvo employs over 2,000 workers here, and has a strong community presence.  They are a major supporter of the Children’s Museum, including donating this fun truck and sponsoring this area of the museum!
Caleb loved to walk up the stairs (on the passenger’s side) and go in and ‘drive’ Mack (sorry Volvo – that little Cars fan is pretty convinced this is the real ‘Mack’.  LOL!)

DSC_0179_075 Caleb was so excited in this area, running back and forth between the semi and ‘Lightening’ (which is really a Petty Enterprises car!!!)…  😉
Caleb takes after his brother Eli, and likes cars, and power, and fast, so he was quite content to park it in this room!  😉
DSC_0191_085He would have been happy to stay in this area, with it’s race car, fire truck, semi, and police car, all afternoon!DSC_0183_079But we were able to bribe him to the next room, where we found the quaint Elm Street Train Depot!  Greensboro is called The Gateway City because it was a major train hub; from Greensboro, you could catch the train to ‘anywhere’. DSC_0194_088

Kids can climb on the Gate City Express, toss on the coal, and speed down the tracks!  No, really!

The pint sized train has an interactive coal fire; the ‘fire’ must be on a motion sensor because when the kids toss in the mock coal piece in, the fire ‘stokes’ up and lights the cab.  The engineer can then sound the train whistle, and steam on down the track… the kids can choose to move along slowly, or speed up the locomotive, and cover the miles on the screen over the fire…

DSC_0202_096The Gate City Express also has a fun dining car, complete with a silver tea service so riders can relax in style as they puff down the tracks…DSC_0209_102Next they can time travel across the room

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to a DC-9 jet where they can be the pilot, or a passenger who makes a quick exit down the slide…
DSC_0228_121…right next to the jet kids can make their own planes at a paper airplane station!

Joel loved this magnetic …building…thingy…
I don’t know what it was called, but it had all sorts of ramps and tubes that clung to the wall, and he could build ball ramps, making jumps and drops, and experimenting with how extreme he could make the course before the ball would veer off the track and bounce away.
DSC_0231_124 The GCM has a mock Post Office complete with boxes to sort on the conveyor belt, and transfer bins and sorting counter.  There is a customer window, and a couple of different mail boxes.

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All of the different ‘locations’ down Main Street have postal boxes, so the kids can even deliver the mail down to the market or the doctor’s office, or the bookstore….

Right next to the Post Office was another favorite with my tribe.  The News Station!  With props for the news, the weather, and a cooking show, the kids had a great time ‘being on TV’ (now if they would only be so at ease and themselves in front of the real thing! LOL!).DSC_0253_146 The littles spent a bit of time in the craft area, creating art, but my favorite stop in the museum was Peanut’s also.  DSC_0260_153Nonie’s house is an adorable traditional cottage with a front porch, complete with rockers, that overlooks a garden and chicken coop.  Inside, it’s a typical ‘gramma’s house’, and Peanut had a great time cooking up dinner for Caleb (they had spaghetti 😉 )…DSC_0257_150I loved this museum!  The cheerful staff goes through occasionally and tidies up the areas so they are neat and organized for the next kids.  Nothing like showing up at Nonie’s house and finding the kitchen just as gramma would have left it.  <3

There were many other rooms also, like the Theater, where the kids put on quite a few rousing concerts for me!  DSC_0271_164The other kids would dress up in crazy costumes (everything from a turtle to renaissance dresses), and put on skits or do dance and music.  Daniel had a grand time running the sound board – there were so many sound effects – from “IT’S SHOW.TIME!!!” to clapping, from a calvary charge to the bling of a fairy godmother wand.  The theater even had adjustable lighting, and a ticket booth complete with tickets.

We visited on a beautiful spring day – the first day of spring to be exact.  The perfect time to check out the Children’s Museum’s Edible Schoolyard.
DSC_0286_179The edible schoolyard has the distinction of being the country’s first edible garden at a children’s museum!  The GCM’s edible schoolyard opened in 2010, and covers half of an acre.  The goal of the ESY is to teach kids how their food choices affect their health, environment, and the community. DSC_0287_180On your walk through the ESY, you can follow the book path, and read the story that is posted along the path.  While we were there, the book was Henry’s Freedom Box, the story of Henry ‘Box’ Brown, a slave who mailed himself, in a wooden box, from down in the south up to freedom in the northDSC_0290_183The Edible Schoolyard offers summer camps, birthday parties, even cooking classes, including some that are child/parent, for teens (exceptionally popular!), to adult directed classes.   The museum has all sorts of extracurricular activities to participate in, and for all age brackets (I’m pretty sure ‘handcrafted cocktails’ is not for the schoolyard crowd 😉 ); the different events are detailed on the GCM website, link below.DSC_0147_046There are fun activities in this part of the museum also.  A teepee for the kids to explore, a ‘sun tunnel’ for them to check out, even an area just to dig in the dirt.DSC_0292_185 The ESY also has chickens and bunnies!  Since it’s only March, the garden is just coming to life, but it will soon be filled with edible plants.  It’s a great concept to help kids understand where their food comes from who might not otherwise get to learn about a garden, and to help them make wise food choices.

So, what did we think of the Greensboro Children’s Museum???
Well, this was Peanut when it was time to go…
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Yep, that happy to be heading home.

DSC_0304_197ROFL!!!
The Greensboro Children’s Museum is conveniently located downtown, right across the street from the Greensboro Historical Museum.  The GCM has it’s own parking lot (tho not big rig friendly), and is situated just a block from the train station – if you are staying in an outlying town, riding the train in and walking to the Children’s Museum and the Historical Museum, would make for a memorable and enjoyable day trip!

The GCM is open Tues – Sun.  Ticket prices can be found here, as are the details for $2 ‘First Friday’, which is the first Friday of each month, from 5 to 8 pm (other Friday nights, from 5 to 8, are $4).  The GCM is an ACM member museum, so if you have the ACM membership, you will get half price off of the regular admission.
If you are in the surrounding area, or heading up the east coast now that ‘spring’ is supposedly 😉 here, mark your calendars for April 12 – it’s Family Fun Day at the Greensboro Children’s Museum; entrance is free for all!  There will be lots of extra ‘visitors’, including Olivia the Pig (from the children’s book), and they will even have a special Playmobil exhibit (don’t tell my tribe – they LOVE Playmobil, and we will no longer be in the area!).DSC_0145_044 We had a great time visiting downtown Greensboro and the Greensboro Children’s Museum!  It’s a fun place to stop to learn some local history and burn off some of that youthful energy.  :)

Lilla Rose

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