Saturday, January 29, 2011

California Science Center

I had just found out that the California Science Center has FREE admission with $8 parking. It was a rainy day; but decided to take the drive anyway. I think this place is the best FREE place for the family; especially kids.

There are a lot of interactive things for the kids to do, such as building bridges, making buildings with Tinker Toys, learn how solar energy works when driving a car using a remote, touch an ice wall, building structures to make them earthquake proof and more. They had an earthquake simulator as well. I don't know why anyone would want to wait 15 min. line to feel and earthquake. I guess it's a good experience for kids to know what one will feel like if they never felt one.

They also have a couple play areas for kids. One area is for kids 7 and under and the other is for kids maybe 10 and under. The aquariums filled with fish and sharks as well as the small touch tank was fun to see. You can also pretend you're a barnacle trying to catch food (ping pong balls).

The place closed before we got to finish. We spent about 3 1/2 hrs there and could have probably spent at least another hour. We will definitely be back for another visit.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

We Need CHNOPS! Comet at Griffith Observatory

I had not been to the Griffith Observatory in a very long time. The last time I was there was before the remodel and when the laser shows were around. I would really like someone to bring back the laser shows!

I thought my 6-year-old daughter MIGHT have some interest in watching a presentation on how to make a comet using household ingredients while exploring the nature of water as well as where we might find water or other life in our solar system. Here's a little science lesson that I took back from the presentation. We need Chnops! No, I'm not talking about the drink. Although some may need that too. In order for life to exist we need Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphate and Sulphate. The last 5 minutes of the presentation was spent on making a comet from water, sand, charcoal, Windex and dry ice. It was an interesting and fun presentation that my 6 year old actually enjoyed. My 3 year old on the other hand barely got through it as expected.

The girls also enjoyed looking through the telescopes, weighing themselves on each planet, determining who got the better constellation that appears on their birthday month, watching the different phases of the moon and learning about eclipses. The views are great! My oldest kept trying to spot our house which is nowhere to been seen; but she insisted she saw it! She also enjoyed getting a closer look at the Hollywood sign. She seems to have a fascination for Hollywood. I don't get it. Hollywood is overrated and it not pretty to look at IMO.

The observatory has free admission except for a few shows, and free parking. If you go on a weekend, be prepared to walk at least a mile to get up there. We sure got our exercise.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snow in Santa Clarita!

It's hard to believe that we actually got snow in our own backyard! This was not man-made snow. This was the real stuff! It must have been about 20 years since it last snowed out here. It was neat to look out to white covered grass and see cars blanketed in snow who were parked on the street. The girls really enjoyed going outside and catching snowflakes, trying to make a snowman and having a snowball fight. The best part is that we didn't have to travel anywhere to play in it. It was dark and very cold; so we didn't stay out very long. It was long enough to have some fun, take pictures and video tape the rare occasion.