Usually once a year we head back to our hometown Rochester, New York to catch up with old friends and make new traditions. We always hit our favorite hot spots, Mt. Hope Cemetery (where I always love to take photos in the early morning), a drive down Lake Road, and a local burger joint (take your pick, Orbakers, Bill Gray’s, Charlie Riedel’s or any one of the numerous “Hots” establishments) to get the best tasting cheeseburgers on the planet (that’s no joke). On one excursion back home, we decided to spend a rainy afternoon at the National Museum of Play. Boasting over 150,000 square feet of “dynamic interactive exhibit space” and “the world’s largest collection of toys”, we could have very literally spent 3 days exploring the giant museum with it’s games, displays and completely hands-on philosophy on learning. From the entire set of Sesame Street to glass cases brimming with old school toys from my youth, there is certainly something for everyone no matter what age. For an extra fee, the gorgeous Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden will help anyone beat the winter blues, as you walk through a tropical climate complete with waterfalls and greenery, not to mention what seemed like a million different species of butterflies. It’s really a great place to take the kids, or even just your camera and keep warm inside while the snow comes down outside. One thing that I personally loved about the National Museum of Play was the emphasis that was placed on reading. There were books everywhere, even an entire room dedicated to the Berenstain Bears and a life-size pop-up book. Around every corner there were reading nooks and beanbag chairs with old classics and new favorites filling all of the shelves. For more information, visit the National Museum of Play’s website and discover a world of fun and amusement for the kid in all of us.
January 22, 2012