Seattle Center

Sunday we wandered around down by the Space Needle and Seattle Center. Zoran and Dev went to another baseball game, so all afternoon I kept stopping to figure out where my missing kid was.

Azia & the whale tale. Aren't these sculpture/ fountain things cool? I wish I had some in my yard. They'd be much more fun for kids to play in than my broken sprinkler.

When I look at this photo, I'm once again relieved Azia decided these comfy white tennis shoes I found in the car as we were getting out went with the outfit she was wearing. The white patent leather heels with silver buckles she had originally escaped the hotel with may have looked cool but I'm sure she would've been barefoot by the time we made it to this fountain. And we still had like five more hours of walking through the city at that point.

Azia and Israel checking out some of the sculptures.

I love how there is art all over downtown Seattle. Sculptures and fountains everywhere. Many of them in the touristy areas are huge things like these climbable statues and the animal fountains. After checking out different installations over a couple days, we were walking under the huge orange piece over by the Science Center. Israel just stopped and stared up at it for a few minutes and then said, "Wow, people in Seattle must have a lot of free time." I asked why he thought that and he explained, "They have stuff like this everywhere. There's just art all over the place. People must not have to work very much if they have time to be building all this stuff."

I guess my kids aren't familiar with the idea of "artist" as a real profession or job. Art seems to be something you get to do if you get all your real work done. I offered no commentary on this observation. I still haven't decided whether I'm pleased or bothered by it.

Since we just had one afternoon down at the Space Needle/ Seattle Center area I told the kids they had to pick one of the places to go. It was a tough decision between the Science Center and Experience Music Project (which they also love) but the decided to go with the Science Center.
Lex and Israel in the dinosaur room-- seeing how they match up so some footprints.
The exhibits are almost always interesting and well done (both interactive but also so full of information I never even get to half of it) but one of my favorite parts is the little play area for the tiny kids. This doesn't rotate like the other big exhibits (my kids were sad the "Gross" one from last year wasn't still here!)  but it's just so well designed I always like looking at how things are put together while my kids play here. When someone gives me the millions of dollars to relocate Mission Valley Power from the center of town and build a community center/ school/ park there, the preschool area could be largely modeled on this.
This water table runs the whole perimeter of the area. All sorts of floating boats, measuring things & that cool enclosed box in the upper left for spraying.
There's a whole room for music--everything meant to be explored to see what sort of different sounds different materials and sizes and objects make. (And pretty sound proof from the outside when you shut the door!)
There are little wooden cars and helicopters with working electric things...lights & sirens and such. I didn't think we were ever going to get Lex out of there.
There's also a dress up area, a tree house loft for reading or just hanging out, a computer area and I love the giant pinwheel built from a truck axel. Little kids turn the crank on one end and twirl a huge pinwheel 8 feet above their heads. None of it's fancy but it's all thoughtfully designed & much of it clearly makes the science behind the fun clear. When I build my version the high school science classes will be in charge of designing and building these things as well as coming up with new additions.

That ball is really cool. Israel is just trying to convince Lex that's the case.
Sometimes Lex isn't really very easily convinced.
This is in the little mini-fair / amusement park at the bottom of the Space Needle. Lex thought riding on this little fire engine was much more exciting than riding to the top of the Space Needle. He is obsessed.

We rode the monorail back downtown. Israel had to ride in the front right next to the operator so he could figure out how everything worked. He gave me a full report of facts and discoveries about how the machine was operated. I don't remember any of it now. He probably still does.

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