This weekend, our city celebrated its 143rd birthday, and our local historical museum decided to throw a birthday party! Admission was free with a birthday card - we're members, and get in free anyway - and there were cupcakes and ice cream upon exiting, as long as you wrote down a fun fact about Wichita for a post-it board they were putting together.
|The entrance to the building on Main Street; Big Sis made a Wichita flag; a coloring sheet for Little Sis to bring home; the back of the building.|
The historical museum is housed in the old City Hall, designed by famed architecture team Proudfoot & Bird. It was built in 1892. The museum moved to the space in the 1970s. While this has long been my favorite building in town, I didn't step inside until a couple of years ago! (Well, not counting a fifth grade field trip. I don't remember much about the museum from that day. I do remember that we ate McDonald's in the park behind the museum, then headed over to the planetarium next door, which was much more exciting.) Two summers ago, I brought the girls to tour the museum and they loved it so much, we became museum members. The girls have the permanent exhibits memorized. They know what floor everything is on. It's always such a joy to visit. And Mr. B was off work this day, so he got to accompany us!
|Look at the box of Kix!|
One of the special exhibits was a look at Atomic Age memorabilia. Mr. B and I had fun looking at the stuff, while not explaining it to the kids. (They can learn about atom bombs later, thank you very much.)
The girls love the children's areas. There's a whole section on the second floor devoted to childhood. For special events, they have a hands-on area set up across the hall. This weekend, they had the tea set and some dolls, along with coloring and crafts.
We also love the Victorian cottage exhibit, which walks you through all the rooms of a fine Victorian house.
|A look at some books by authors from the Wichita area, and/or about Wichita figures.|
The part of the tour we were most excited about, though, was a trip up the stairs beyond the fourth floor. While the tour did not lead you up the narrow, rickety stairs to the actual clock tower, it did take you up to the bottom of the tower. There you could see the clock mechanism - the clock wasn't added until the 1910s - and you could pull a rope to ring the bell! We also saw the original "Future Home of..." sign.
I didn't think I was going to write a post about our trip, but after looking at our library bag and having funny conversations with the girls, I realized we have really been "getting our history on" this summer! I thought I'd devote the rest of the week to some of the books we have been reading: biographies on Amelia Earhart and Benjamin Franklin, the Magic Tree House series, Egyptology...
Are your children interested in history? Are there any cool historical museums in your area?