Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicago: Day 2, Part 2: Nature Museum

When Lilli woke up with from her nap I gave her the little lizard I'd gotten her in the zoo gift shop. She loved it!!Of course she wanted to feed it some snacks......
Stick her finger down his little mouth....and do all the things you do to something you really like!
We walked over to the Nature Museum that's just north of the zoo.
It's a really cool little building with all kinds of wildflowers and things grown up around it.
They gave us stickers to wear to show we'd paid (Lilli was free of course!) and she took her sticker off and put it on her new lizard.
The thing that had drawn me to this museum was their big Butterfly Room. It's a large room with thousands of really cool butterflies flying around. We literally got there about 10 minutes before a butterfly release "party" so we headed straight up to catch that.
All the kids were gathered around the little cages holding the butterflies they were going to release. One of the museum workers gave a little presentation and then released them and the kids went wild. It was a really cool room with so many butterflies just flying everywhere. Once I had one land on my pants and I thought about a half dozen kids were going to attack me trying to get it.
Here's where they grow the butterflies. Since caterpillars eat plants and that would destroy the butterfly habitat they raise the caterpillars and cocoons in these artificial settings.
She always gets really excited to see big animal heads on the wall....
We happened to be at the museum on "Bugapolooza" Day. Lucky us! They had all kinds of special bug things going on, including a lot of living ones you could touch or look at. This lady was walking around letting the kids hold these enormous stick bugs.
They had coloring pages for the kids. Who wouldn't want to color venomous creatures???
The lady with the stick bugs just LOVED Lilli. When we first went over to touch them she kept going on and on about her. So when we were sitting in the floor coloring she brought them back over to us. (yuck!) She asked me if I wanted to hold one since Lilli was kind of small to do it. I'm pretty sure my answer would have been NO but.....I knew she'd love it.
Then Lilli held her hand out just like she'd seen me do to take the giant bug, asking for the other one. HA! We were all rolling on the floor laughing. The lady was going to let her hold one but then Lilli got timid and wouldn't do it.
On this trip she really discovered her love of elevators. From dancing to twirling to just acting weird she had a ball in all of them.

They had a large "waterworks" area where you're supposed to do all these things to help understand how water flows.
And then all these great low info things to help you learn about various animals.
Fake little turtle eggs....
And their fake turtles.....
It was a GREAT museum. There were lots of little centers and great learning activities and things for kids. I'd highly recommend it, and it was one of the few things we did on this trip we hadn't previously done before in Chicago. It was really a lot more fun to me than the Children's Museum - possibly because it was a whole lot less crowded!
The craziest thing was the massive quantity of dragonflies around Chicago, and especially outside the museum. There was something there the dragonflies really liked! I'm not sure if it's some kind of migration or what, but it was CRAZY how many there were.

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