We lurve the Children's Museum, and go quite often. If you go during a school day, NOT a field trip day, and you're a member, it's pretty sweet. The carousel dude didn't even make us get off between rides, there was no waiting at the big marble run, no line at the boat-building, no having to share the wall-mounted T-Rex puzzle with some tourist kid who hasn't done it a million times and will just delay getting it completed in order to hear the big roar, etc. I do find children's museums in general a little annoying because I loathe hyper-parenting ("Okay, Ichabod, now it's your turn! Climb the ladder! No pushing! Let the little girl go up first! Walk, Ichabod! Be careful! Okay, go down the slide now!"), making kids move along before they're done ("Come on, Jackson, let's go see something else! Hey, let's go look at the boats, Jackson! Let's go, Jackson! Jackson, come on! I mean it! One!"), and using your bitchy voice in the gift shop, especially if you tell your kid that you're going to buy them something but then all you do is gripe about what they want.
Even that is quite a bit lessened, however, by going during a school day during the school year, and our time was quite pleasant. And in the afternoon, quite by chance, we walked into a program that is hands-down the best thing that I've done in the Children's Museum so far...
Tell me, friends. How would YOU like to design and then make a real, live Barbie outfit?
We liked it very much.
First, Mr. Grant gave us a lecture on color and fashion and style. Then there was the design portion of the programme:
And during the design portion, Mr. Grant came around and told each person exactly why he loved their design so much. We like compliments, and we liked Mr. Grant.
Then each person picked out the fabric for their Barbie dress, and then we folded the fabric, pinned a real, live, Barbie dress pattern to that fabric, traced around it with tailor's chalk, and cut it out:
The pattern was simple and yet brilliant, and don't worry--I looked and looked and looked at it, and I think I can make up something along those lines for some future at-home Barbie fashion design.
Instead of sewing, we used double-sided tape to put the seams together--again, BRILLIANT!--and little Velcro tabs to make the dress closures wherever we wanted. And, and here's the best part, we put our dresses on LITTLE BARBIE DRESSMAKER'S DUMMIES!!!
I may have been in heaven for a bit.
After we all had our dresses on our dummies and they had been duly admired, Mr. Grant brought out the fabric scraps, and the ribbons, and the beads and bobbles and sequins, and the fabric markers, and the fun truly began:
Both the girls found this last part, especially, to be utterly absorbing. Willow dangled bits of scrap fabrics and ribbons down from the hem of her dress, and Sydney ended up with a ribbon bow on each shoulder of her dress, a ribbon bow in front and back, ribbons drawn all over the other free spaces, and tiny little cut-up bits of ribbon here and there and everywhere.
When the girls were finished, they were both VERY proud of their Barbie dresses:
As well they should be.