Like thousands of other Arkansas children, I grew up with the really cool place, the Mid America Science Museum. Field trips and summer visits offered a world of wonder and lots of chances to play.
Even as an adult, I visited many times. Over the years, some of the things became routine, but it was always still a great stop.
A few weeks ago, the newly remodeled museum reopened. Hunter and I planned a visit for our spring break road trip. After visiting the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources the day before and having the place to ourselves, we didn't expect all that many people out for the mid-week stop. Imagine our surprise when we arrived to find people parked all along the road leading to the museum, and a full parking lot as well. Take a look at all the cool stuff we found inside.
|She was excited from the moment we arrived. Before, even.
|On the outside, it doesn't look all that different.
|But on the inside, it's a different story.
|Right inside the front door, there's a neat video project where kids can hula hoop
or play ball or dance, and it'll loop and reverse. Notice the difference in Hunter
on the screen and Hunter on the floor.
|Could packing peanuts and a trampoline ever be quite this fun?
|A lot of the old attractions and experiments are still there, such as this metal
|Some of the attractions make a lot of noise.
|The old skybridge is now called the Light Bridge, and you can see the new
Skywalk from there. It's unique!
|There are a lot of different pieces on the light walk.
|This is a frame full of different prismatic glass pieces that distort what lies beyond.
|Hunter enjoyed playing with the different colored cels to create different colors.
|A two story structure just inside the main building uses water to propel balls
up and down. It requires a little kid participation.
|As you see, that's not a problem.
|Hunter launched balls from this contraption up into that spring overhead...
|which spun down into this water funnel. Kids below grabbed balls and put them
on tracks to launch them back up to the top.
|Sometimes the balls escape, but that's all right. There's help getting those back, too.
|As you can see, there are a lot of changes to the main area of the museum,
|And there were plenty of people there to enjoy all of it.
|Without a doubt, Hunter's favorite thing at the museum is this structure.
|Here, rubber pieces are piled up and knocked down to create mountains and rivers.
|When you hold your hand over it, it rains.
|The mastadon is still there...
|As is this giant lump of quartz crystal.
|You can see what you look like in infrared.
|Or check out this ice coil!
|The Gyroid is a neat climbing contraption for the kids. Hunter had to get her
shoes off immediately to tackle this.
|She never made it to the top, but she sure tried!
|Those fabulous Rowland Emmett machines are still on display throughout
|Hunter got a real shock out of this contraption.
|She rather enjoyed connecting circuits in the Tinkering Studio.
|We went out on the Skywalk. It was an adventure... a musical one.
|There were a lot of people out.
|Hunter loved the kaleidoscope.
|Here's what it looked like inside.
|This giant trampoline was the center of attention.
|Hunter was far more interested in the tightrope... but after this run, she said never again.
|The cafe is still located on the bottom floor of the entry building.
|Here's a carbon atom display.
|And here's another one of those amazing machines.
|There's even a machine to break rocks. Which is genius, since this allows the kids
to make gravel for the paths... KIDDING...
|And of course, we had to check out the gift shop.