Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Day at the Mill City Museum

Welcome to my first contribution to Life With Three. I hope to contribute from time to time with my unique take on our life.

I had the great pleasure of being a chaperon on Gemma's field trip to the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. The museum is housed in one of the old grain mills along the Mississippi River and chronicles the history of milling and the rise of Minneapolis. The museum is really well done and turns a dry subject most know little about into something interesting. It combines local history along with some pretty cool technology from the past. I think people of all ages would find it a worthwhile trip with or without kids.

Despite Kim saying I look like I have been drinking in this picture, I assure you I was only blinking. Besides, you should only be looking at my beautiful little girl anyway. Gemma and I shared a seat on the bus and this self-portrait came out pretty good if I do say so myself.
Gemma and her classmates were given the rules of the museum and the schedule of the days events by a staff person. My little ham was not paying attention, but that is what the chaperon is for, right.

The two girls on Gemma's left are her "really close friends" Serena and Cassandra. They decided to adopt me as their father for the day and I decided to play along. I gave them the pet names of Serenita and Cassita to go along with Gemmita.

The museum uses a scavenger hunt to keep the kids moving around the museum and has plenty of hands on interactive activities for the kids (and adults if they had let me).

In the activity below, the kids were working on a model of Saint Anthony Falls, the site of the grain, lumber and textile mills that Minneapolis grew from. See even I learned something. They had to create a dam system to make the turbines spin, thus generating power for the mills. Water = Power is the sign over this activity room.

After lunch, we went on the Flower Tower attraction. This is an old working grain elevator with vignettes on each floor that tell a history of the mill. It got a little scary at times especially during the old mill explosion, but Gemma held my hand and reassured me.

We finished up with a short movie called Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat. I didn't time it, but I think they were right on time. It was now time to load the bus and head back to school.

We had a wonderful time at the museum and I look forward to going with Spencer later this school year.

I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of my musings. I'll probably keep writing even if you don't, but my goal is to inform and entertain. Tune in next week after Gemma, Spencer and I go to our first Minnesota Wild hockey game with our good friend Chris.

I still have not figured out how I explain the fights to the little ones, but I am sure it will be amusing if nothing else!

Ciao for now.

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