Our day long adventures have been extremely important to our family life in the last year as we start a new chapter in understanding the needs of our son. Finally after months to almost years of searching for answers, we were given the diagnosis we needed to move forward and receive services and therapies for Liam. Aspergers Syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder. He is most certainly high functioning and probably does not even register with strangers that something is a miss, but something is, I know it. My husband and I notice it everyday and we have struggled with it everyday. Almost from birth. I was persistent and I continued to find the help we needed to make it as a family and find pockets of happiness together. One of these pockets came in the form of visits to children’s museums.
Several museums are in our area and we visit them regularly and have memberships for spontaneous outings when the mood or the need strikes. His 3rd birthday was at one of his favorites. These museums have become a solace for Liam. They are a place in which he feels comfortable, at ease and relaxed as well as excited and engaged. He never refuses a trip to one as he refuses other outings daily. He does not need to be convinced or bribed. He plays happily and just is happy. This is a joy to see because he often isn’t happy just hanging out and playing with us and his toys. In fact, he doesn’t care for much play or many toys at all. What makes him tick? We are still trying to sort that one out. We do know, children’s museums make a big difference in the time we all spend together as a family and it does give us a window into activities he enjoys and we try introduce some of them at home.
We began really traveling to museums as day trips and called them adventures. Oddly, he is ok with the uncertainty of the destination, the length of the trip or time away from home. Packing bags, searching and planning but often these trips are spontaneous. I remember the first really spontaneous trip came just after the Sandy Hook school shootings. It was such a trying time for families, for children and for America. A day when you wanted to rush to school, grab your child, and huddle up inside thanking God that your loved one’s were safe and praying for those who lost so much in a senseless act. That very next day, my husband and I decided we needed a family adventure to bring a little peace and happiness back into our world and to get out there and say we will not be forced down by this. That day we drove to the Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk CT. It was a long trip and a wonderful adventure together in the face of trying circumstances. We needed that family time.
Since that trip, we decided that these trips or adventures were necessary to our family time together. Sharing some place new with each other, no expectations only discovery has brought us many happy trips. L’s inflexibility does not seem to be an issue on these trips. He understands how wonderful this time is together for all of us. We have since purchased a membership with reciprocity to a whole network of museums. Our goal is to visit as many as we can and share these times together. We made a New Year’s resolution to visit as many as we can this year so we purchased a reciprocal membership and it has been the greatest purchase ever for him! Special memories all around.
Our latest, greatest trip wast to the South Eastern Ct Children’s Museum in Niantick, CT. It was Mother’s Day. Although, if I lived in a perfect world, this might not be my ideal choice for a Mother’s Day celebration, I do not live in a perfect world. I am a mother celebrating my child by sharing a special day with him. This in turn gives me all the Mother’s Day celebration I need. However, the breakfast in bed with fresh whipped cream and strawberries made by my husband was wonderful too 😉 !
The Bethnic Explorer. A real life submarine for kids to go in and drive!
Lots of great hands on activities inside. Pyramid, fishing vessel, bees, and more!
Amazing outdoor space! Mini zip line, 2 story tree house, water fun, digging area!
Sometimes we even get to explore the town a bit, so here we are at the beach. A perfect end to a perfect day!
How do you celebrate your children’s passion? Does your child have a favorite children’s museum? I love all your comments!
Children’s museums great and small, Liam loves them all!
Here’s our list of places we have visited!
Children’s Museum at Holyoke, Holyoke, MA
Always looking forward to the next!