Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas break fun

Our apologies for being somewhat quiet for the past week.  We have been enjoying some of the sights and activities around town now that we are on break.  It has been nice to pick and choose our schedule, not having to rush somewhere to make it for just an hour or so.  Our adventures this past week have included going to Jolly Days at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.  They have a fun baking area for the kids to create some fun holiday treats and meals.

A sandwich and cupcake.  Yum!

There is also an 'ice skating' rink, where the kids can slide around in their socks.  It is just slippery enough for the kids to twirl around and slide a foot or two, but not so bad that they careen out of control.  

Man down! Man down! (he's fine, laughing actually)

The kids have the chance to get up close to some of Santa's reindeer to brush their fur and feed them some lichen.

Pretty reindeer, soft reindeer.

An activity that spans the whole area is a scavenger hunt/checklist for the kids to do, and if they are successful, they can earn their elf ears.  Way to go!

4 little elves went out to play...

Of course, what would a winter time trip to the Children's Museum be without a run down the slide.  This year, Caroline was begging to go down the slide from the moment we pulled into the parking garage.  Lydia was very clear that she did not want to ride, but Ian was gung-ho about hitting the slopes.  This of course gave me the chance to have a go at the slide myself.


Our adventures also took us to the State Museum to visit Celebration Junction, located on the third floor.  I mention that, because the lobby is an awesome 3 stories high, and once you travel up the elevator, you have a really cool view looking down.  This time of year gives a great vantage point for all of the decorations that adorn the lobby.  They have a replica train of the one that used to run through the downtown L.S. Ayres store that you can ride.  It takes you in a short loop, where you get to see some fun critters playing in the snow, and there is even a fun friend waiting to pass out a surprise along the way.
Riding the rails.

After the train ride, we did a scavenger hunt for some hidden items in a mural on the wall.  It changes each year, so there is always something new to find.

Our travels took us next door to the State Museum for Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum. This exhibit was way beyond what I was expecting.  To quickly sum it up, Ian was slack jawed and wide eyed the whole time.  Not only is it model trains chugging through various settings, but everything is made out of wood.  All of the bridges, buildings and landscape has been carefully crafted out of wood pieces.  It was a beautiful exhibit that alone was worth admission.

Look! Train!

We then headed downstairs for the interactive family experience, which is a place with some fun hands on activities for everyone.  Down there you can set up and raise a totem pole, learn some basket weaving, what life in a hogan is like, dress up for the period and what a stage coach was like.  This was a fun area that we spent over an hour in, working in each area.

She made it 8 seconds, then wanted down.

And now here we are at Christmas Eve.  A tradition that we have is letting the kids open one present.  They receive new pajamas each year, and this lets them get out a little bit of that 'I want to open a present' tension, and they get fun new sleep wear for this most magical of nights.

Posed shot turns into tissue paper fight!

Each year, I find myself sitting, contemplating, enjoying the still and silent time that Christmas Eve brings.  I take the time to reflect on the past month, glancing at our advent house, thinking about what we have done to lead up to this point.  I ponder the new memories made, the experiences had, the new found understanding of what Christmas is and what this season has to offer.  I smile to myself as I wind down.  God is in his place, all is well with the world.

Merry Christmas.

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