Two Moms, Four Kids and the Carnegie Science Center

Educational day-long outings with little ones can be quite the experience, to put it kindly.  Most moms would rather stay home than deal with all of the tears, puke, tantrums, poop, lost toys, and lost patience that an outing with littles can produce.  Yet, I seem to keep going on outings with my littles, often taking along my best friend Jamie and her littles.  We amount to two moms and four littles under the age of four.  We must be extra loving, extra graceful mommas who just want their littles to flourish - or suckers for punishment.  I'll let you decide!  

On this particular outing to the Carnegie Science Center (CSC) in February of this year, we were two moms and four littles under the age of three.  It was a little insane and a little trying at times, including wet clothes, lost children, and lots of potty breaks, but let me encourage moms of littles out there, you too can take your babes to the Carnegie Science Center, and have a blast!!!  Because we certainly did!!

On our way!
If you know Jamie and I, then you know that this trip did not start earlier than 11:00 am.  I always have good intentions to get us out the door and to our destination early, but I usually run late and Jamie runs later, so together we were proud of our accomplishment to arrive at the Science Center - period.  We piled into Jamie's minivan and headed off, grabbing some lunch for the kiddles on the way.  

Even though it was a weekday in midwinter when most children over the age of five are in school, we had some how picked the one midwinter holiday when every child in Pittsburgh was instead at the Science Center: Presidents' Day.  How we did this, I'll never know.  So, of course, the CSC was busting at the seams with kids, kids and more kids.  I grabbed my double stroller and Ergo baby carrier, and Jamie grabbed her double stroller, all with the intention of navigating the bustling crowd.  Our gameplan was to head to the top floor of the Science Center and work our way down to avoid the crowds. 

The top floor has the Exploration Station Jr. exhibit, which is perfect for the preschool crowd.  This exhibit has so many fun areas for little ones:  a giant water table, which was perfect for getting Sophia sopping wet, a ball area with conveyors, vacuums, and a ball hopper that dumps every few minutes, an overhead walkway that the kids love, a few glass cases with crawling critters, areas to learn about the body, a construction area with bricks, rocks and a backhoe, and a quiet area with a spot for nursing moms (hooray for this momma!)!!  The fun doesn't end for the littles here!!  Here are just a few pictures of the kids enjoying this wonderful exhibit!!
Isaiah, the newest doctor in the house...

Josiah learning about body parts!

Isaiah - doing construction work...
Isaiah and Josiah playing in the ball pit!

Whew, they were busy!  We could have spent all day just at the Exploration Station Jr.  It's a great spot for little ones because it's essentially gated in.  There is only one way in and one way out and the ingress and egress are right next to each other.  So if your child walks away, it's likely that they haven't gone far.  In fact, at one point a little girl came up to me and said she lost her mom.  I asked Jamie to take Isaiah, and Annika and I took her to find her mom.  We found a CSC employee and a mom who was a teacher, and together they knew just what to do to help the lost little girl out.  Thankfully, we didn't lose any of our own children that day!!  

Sophia from WPXI :)
We had a chance to forecast some weather, which Sophia did quite well, as you can see!!  And Isaiah and Josiah examined the fish in the SeaScape exhibit!  So much to see!!

Isaiah and Josiah

Josiah and Isaiah watching the train speed by!

Then we wandered down to the Miniature Railroad and Village, which was also a big hit with our three and under crowd!  The conductors let Isaiah, Josiah, and Sophia blow the train whistle, and, heck, what could be better than that!?!  For big kids, it's just neat to see areas of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania in miniature!  Thomas the Tank Engine was even running on the tracks, which Isaiah was delighted about!!  He would watch Thomas disappear into a tunnel and then run five or so feet away where Thomas would emerge from the tunnel a minute later, and follow him back to the spot where he disappeared into the tunnel again.  He repeated this for at least ten minutes, and I finally had to drag him away... 

At this point, the kids were getting more tired and more cranky, and we had only done a small portion of all the CSC has to offer.  We stopped for a brief stint at the roboworld exhibit, before the kids dropped from sheer exhaustion.  Much of the exhibit was likely more appealing to older kids, but the robot continuously shooting baskets was absolutely mesmerizing for Isaiah and Josiah.  They watched for at least ten minutes, and for a two year old and a three year old, that may as well be forever! 

Josiah and Isaiah watching the robot
Isaiah...  Whoa!

We didn't see every CSC exhibit, but with four littles under three, we were limited on time and attention spans!  The good news is that means that there is still more to see!  The exhibits that we did visit were a big hit with the kids and we can't wait to go back!  Isaiah and Josiah are budding musicians who love their guitars, so I know we will be going to see the new GUITAR exhibit!  So stay tuned!   
Our quiet ride home, passed out before the West End Bridge...


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