Tuesday, July 28, 2009
On Saturday, we headed to Golden State Park to visit the California Academy of Sciences. The academy houses a planetarium, an aquarium, a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest under one brand-new, solar panel-rimmed, sustainable living roof.
The aquarium is in the very dark basement level of the building, where the sensitive systems of deep sea creatures are protected from too much light. Flash photography is prohibited, of course, but I attempted to capture what I could.
A weedy seadragon...
Some pretty mushrooms and corals...
Carnivorous plants, our favorite...
A giant octopus, normally very shy, graced us with a closeup view of itself. It came all the way down the glass to my sister's hand.
After that, we were ready to get out of the crowded lower level and find some fresh air in the gardens outside. We ate our picnic lunch, and the boys ran down the hills, of course.
After lunch, we headed back in to see the Natural History exhibits.
We were behind a huge crowd watching the penguins in their ice habitat when the fire alarm went off!
The entire museum had to be evacuated, so we headed over to a playground inside the park to wait out the evacuation. When we went back, the crowds had thinned significantly, which made it much easier to navigate the exhibits.
We weren't unfamiliar with snakes to start with, but we learned even more from a herpatology talk.
After the snake show, Scott and Lindsay took the big boys to see "Fragile Planet" in the planetarium, while I took Littlest to the little kids' play area. He was quite happy to run around in his socks, doing puzzles, climbing in the tree house and on the schooner, and with the dinosaur Legos.
It was a lot of museum to cover in one day -- we didn't see the rainforest at all. I'd love to go back on a weekday, when we could go slowly and observe everything without the crowds. It was still worth it.