Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Field Trip - Branson, MO

Really it was a vacation to Branson, MO, but for any fellow homeschoolers there are some excellent places there for field trips.  Here are two highlights from the trip:

This was my first time there (my husband grew up going there almost yearly) and it only took me about 30 seconds to know that I was going to love it.  At Homestead Ridge you can attend a Hymn sing-a-long at Wilderness Church, pet animals at the homestead barn, and attend a history class in a one-room-school house.  As you walk throughout the park you can watch demonstrations from homesteaders and tradesmen (blacksmith, carpentry, soap-making, glass-blowing, pottery, candle-making, etc.), and even try a few of these out for yourself.  And then of course there are lots of attractions and rides.  "Boo" loved the Carousel and Happy Frogs.  "M" enjoyed the Lil' Swings and perhaps her favorite was American Plunge (which is a log flume ride with a "BIG slide and splash" as she says).  My favorite attraction was the Silver Dollar Train (expect a little surprise and a whole lot of laughing about half way through!).  There are some water attractions, so be sure to bring a change of clothes.  The park is a little pricey, but there are lots of opportunities for learning.  Military can get a 2-day pass for the price of 1-day, which is very nice!

I thought that this was pricey for what it is (almost $20/adult, however they do offer a military discount of $2 off), but if you go after 3pm you can come back the next day for free.  We went one morning and came back after nap time, which seemed to work well.  "M" actually was scared of the butterflies in the morning and would scream every time one flew by her, but after nap when we returned she was laughing and excited about them.  The Butterfly Palace is very toddler friendly.  They have little bug carts for the kids to ride through the butterfly room on, as well as hats, binoculars, and magnifying glasses.  There is an awesome mirror maze which both of our girls had so much fun in (we went through many, many times).  They also have a new rainforest exhibit and a small science center.

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