Tuesday, March 19, 2013

William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

A couple of months ago, my dad gifted us the funds to purchase a season pass to the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Canton. The season pass is a super deal - at $59 for family admission, it covers unlimited visits to the museum, monument and planetarium, as well as free or reduced admission to over 250 museums across the country. I'm most excited about this because we can get in for free at COSI in Columbus and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and we get in for 50% off at the Great Lakes Science Center.

I didn't take a single picture as proof, but this morning we met up with friends of ours to explore the McKinley Museum (all pics are from museum website). The fun starts with a life size replica of a dinosaur, which is motion activated to roar as you walk by.

Addy was clearly hesitant to move forward once she laid eyes on him, but a nice worker guided us through a back way, bypassing the dinosaur. We spent some time checking out various creatures, such as snakes, fish and tarantulas, before moving on to the science exploration. We learned how tornadoes form, how pulleys work, and how electricity is conducted (and by learned, I mean we pushed lots of buttons, fiddled with lots of switches, ran around a lot, and didn't actually learn anything...she is only two years old afterall).

My favorite part of the museum is the Street of Shops - a true to size replica of a historic town, complete with working displays and a pole to slide down at the fire station. Walking through, you actually feel like you are outside, walking in a real town - on a day of perfectly controlled weather obviously. There's a barber shop, a hat store, a gas station (with an old Ford), a hotel and saloon, a fire station, a blacksmith's shop, a toy shop (filled with vintage toys), and much more. There's also a train station with a fabulous model train layout, replicating the Pennsylvania Railroad and its relationship with our community. The kids loved the trains, of course!

This museum is a great indoor activity for cold & rainy days where Addy can explore freely (with the exception of the spiral staircase and firehouse pole that I did not let her explore). On our visit today, we encountered a total of eight other visitors  - so essentially, we had the place to ourselves. It was a delight.

Thank you dad for the gift of exploration! We are looking forward to visiting the Great Lakes Science Center and COSI soon!

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