Homeschooling Day Trips: New York City

There have been a couple of days that almost feel like spring in Des Moines, and many parents and kids are ready to get out of the house and welcome some outdoor fun. While things are still wet, you might find a dry path at the Blank Park Zoo or the Living History Farms.

There is almost always public transportation to a museum. We took are kids to Philadelphia by train, not because it was simpler than driving the car but because it was something new and exciting to kids who have never hopped on a train or bus. And when you get to the museum, you don’t have to worry about where to park the car.

The Blank Park Zoo is still in late winter mode, but it’s April Fool’s tradition continued with an announcement of a new dinosaur speciesat the zoo. While the video and the dinosaur may be a joke, the traveling animated remote control that’s coming May 27 isn’t a joke.

If you just plan on visiting for the day, or a few hours, you still need to pay an admission fee of $7 for adults, $3 for juniors, and kids get in free. Personally, I thought it was a bit outrageous to pay $7 just to get in, when I was only there long enough to go on one ride, check out a couple exhibits, and eat some food.

The view is similar to a planetarium. The seats are built on a recline as the images on screen envelope you. The movie we saw, “The Mysteries of the Great Lakes”, was mostly about the sturgeon fish, but some of the camera angles gave me butterflies in my stomach. It felt like I was really flying over the lakes.

The Zoo’s traditional “Zoo-Plex” will become the “Dino-Plex” with full size and half size dinosaur models, some animatronics models for lifelike action, and exhibits detailing the diet and habits of particular dinosaurs.

At first I found the exhibit entry fee to be rather high, but once I toured all the displays, I was satisfied I got more than my money’s worth. We weren’t able to experience The Big Backyard, which features miniature golf and a maze, as it’s only open seasonally.