Happy Monday! This is my 100th blog post!! Woohoo!! I spent all day yesterday soaking up as much sunshine as I could. We pulled an all dayer at the pool and were there from open to close. It was wonderful!
I am back to work today for teacher week and I thought this would be the perfect day to share the field trip the boys and I took with my mom. I call it a field trip because we went to 6 museums in 3 days. It was super fun and I am so proud of how great the kids were! I hope you’re ready for picture overload because here it comes.
I actually stumbled across the idea for this trip when I was looking into some things for School Library Month at school. When I was looking at the Eric Carle museum, I found a ticket for the Iconic Illustrator’s Trail and I was hooked. My mom was a teacher and reading specialist so she was all in immediately too! This ticket gave you admission into the Eric Carle Musuem of Picture Books, The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. I wanted to squeeze the most out of this short trip so I booked the 7 am flight. I didn’t really think about that early flight meaning that we would have to leave our house at 4:45 am. Oops! We had an easy, empty flight to Hartford, Connecticut and rented a car there.
We headed to Amherst, Massachusetts to get to the Eric Carle museum.
We got there right as it opened and started to explore. There was a scavenger hunt for the kids throughout the whole museum. They had to look for all of the food that the very hungry caterpillar ate on the walls of the museum. There were two visiting exhibits and an Eric Carle exhibit. Paddington Bear’s adventures were in the first gallery. Paddington’s story and original drawings from the books were displayed and there were London attractions for the kids to find. My kids loved the Paddington movies so it was a big hit!
The middle gallery displayed the work of Leo and Diane Dillon. I knew my kids weren’t very familiar with their work so we checked out a bunch of their books from the library before we went. I was so glad I did that. They loved finding art from the books throughout the display and rereading some fo the favorite books. There was also an interactive part where we created pictures like Leo and Diane Dillon do.
The third gallery had Eric Carle’s work. Our local college had an exhibit years ago that showed original picture books art and it was incredible. There was an Eric Carle piece there and I was in awe. This was just as great! There was another scavenger hunt for the kids in this room. They had to look for 8 things that made an acrostic poem for Seasons. A timeline of Eric Carle’s life was in this room too! What an interesting life he is leading!!
After this we went to the art studio. There is a different art project for kids to do each month there. This month was all about layering things in your pictures to change how your picture can look. My mom, Jack, Luke, and I all made a picture! The studio was really neat with lots of things for kids to do after they did their art project.
We explored the library and the musuem store, of course. My mom and I decided that we needed to have criteria for souvenirs from the gift shops. We came up with a persuasive paragraph. Good topic sentence, three supporting reasons, and a closing sentence.
They have an outside area, but it was pouring so we hopped back in the car and headed to museum 2 in Springfield.
We grabbed a delicious lunch and headed into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Both boys were really excited about this one!
I was a little nervous when we got to the start of the museum. It was the Ring of Honor and none of us knew enough about the HOF members to get a bunch out of it. Jack did find a few people he recognized and was excited about.
Then we headed down to the second floor. This floor was so cool. It reminded me a lot of a Smithsonian museum. There was a ton of memorabilia and lot for the kids to do. It was so fun!
The bottom floor of the Hall of Fame is called Center Court. It is a basketball court with tons of hoops. I was so excited to see a model of the peach basket that James Naismith hung on the wall at the YMCA. I read a book with my classes about it and it made my day. There was a slam dunk area, a variety of backboards and basketball hoops, and tons of basketballs to play with. The boys played there for almost an hour!
From there we checked into our hotel and looked right back at the Hall of Fame!
We grabbed some dinner and went for a swim in the indoor pool. We used that indoor pool and fitness center a ton!! Jack and I even got locked in once!
On Wednesday, we got up, ate breakfast, went for a swim, and then headed over to the Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss. It was part of the Springfield Museums so we actually had admission to all 5 museums there with our Iconic Illustrator’s Trail ticket. We didn’t make it to the 2 art museums because we just ran out of time!
We headed to Dr. Seuss first. It was neat, but it was really geared to children younger than my boys and their grown ups. There were 3 floors and my kids did love finding the characters from their favorite stories.
Then we headed to the Science Museum. This was really cool. I think it was Luke’s favorite of the day. We went to the planetarium and it was the boys’ first time in one. My mom and dad have been talking to them about all of the wonderful things we can see in the night sky so it was perfect!
As we were exploring the Earth area, we caught sight of a giant dinosaur down below!
Then we headed down to the first floor to see the dinosaurs, African exhibit, and Native American exhibit.
After the second museum of the day we headed over to the cafe for lunch. It was delicious!! We walked around the sculpture garden and found some Dr. Seuss favorites!
After lunch, we went to our 3rd museum of the day, the History museum. It was Jack’s favorite museum. I learned a ton about the history of Springfield. There were a ton of old cars that were manufactured there. There was also a big game section because Milton Bradley was manufactured there. Upstairs we learned that Friendly’s Ice Cream started in Springfield and saw an exhibit on Indian Motorcycles and bicycles and Smith and Wesson. It was all so interesting!
6 hours later, we headed back to the hotel to swim, grabbed some dinner, swam again, and snuggled into bed to watch America’s Got Talent.
We woke up Thursday morning, headed to the fitness center, ate some breakfast, and swam again before checking out of the hotel. We drove into the Berkshires (no Dorinda sighting) to the town of Stockbridge. As we drove down Main Street, my mom and I decided we could have spent all afternoon wandering through the shops but it was not a great idea with the kids. So we went straight to the Norman Rockwell Musuem. THIS PLACE WAS AMAZING!!!! We started with a short biographical video of Norman Rockwell. It was so interesting. Then we went up to the galleries to get started. Most paintings and prints had a little number next to them. You could enter the number into the museum app and hear an actor portraying Norman Rockwell or his son Peter tell the story of how that picture came to be. The boys were so engaged! I was thrilled! My mom and I loved it too! We learned so much American history through his stories. We can use the app at home too and I’ve caught the boys using the app to find pictures quite a few times since we’ve gotten home.
We had a delicious lunch at the museum and then kept going with the works. We spent almost 4 hours in the two story museum looking at all of his works and the covers of the Saturday Evening Post that Rockwell did.
After that we went over to his original studio and roamed around exploring the grounds. It was perfect for the boys to run around and burn off some energy before we headed back to the airport.
After the boys had run some energy off, we headed back to the airport. We were a little early so the boys broke out their souvenir from the Springfield Museums and did a puzzle.
Our flight was empty and easy on the way home. We switched seat partners on the way home. I am so proud of the boys! They are such great travelers and really had wonderful museum manners. I think (HOPE) they got a lot out of the trip, because I sure did! My mom and I made some fabulous memories and I am already starting to plan our trip for next year!
Have a great week full of sunshine and books! I am headed back to work so there may not be as much sunshine, but there will definitely be books!!
☀️ 📚 😎