I adore going on "adventures" with my little family! Spending time with my husband Pete and my three year old son PJ fills my heart, and while I love a good, stay-inside-and-wear-pajamas-all-day kind of day, I enjoy getting out of the house and exploring with my best boys.
We were recently invited to preview a new exhibit at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. Road trip! It was an hour and a half drive up the good old New Jersey Turnpike, but it turned out to be well worth it to check out the Curious George: Let's Get Curious! exhibit that is showing now through May 12th.
While my heart may love a good adventure, sometimes my brain can quash my spirit. My son PJ was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, and what might seem to be no sweat for a typically developing child can be too loud, scary, difficult to navigate or stimulating for a child with special needs. Despite all of that, a trip to see one of my favorite monkeys was too good to pass up, so I just told my brain to shush, loaded my family into the car, and didn't take my foot off the gas until we were in Jersey City!
When we entered the LSC, I wasn't sure that we would make it past the entrance, as PJ was enthralled with the Hoberman Sphere, a "suspended kinetic sculpture" or, translated to three-year-old boy, a big silver ball in the sky that opens and closes!. PJ couldn't take his eyes off of it, but we tore him away and headed towards George.
We left outer space and headed over to the Farm, where PJ spent the most time of any of the stations at the George exhibit. PJ built his own "whirligig" with Tinker-toy-esque wooden wheels and sticks. My husband and I really loved seeing PJ was explore imaginative play, along with using his fine motor skills. There was enough space for several children to work, promoting social skills and sharing.
|Hi, George! I see you!|
With PJ feeling calm, we headed back to George. PJ took a few more slides down the rocket ship and then took his father by the hand to go explore the Apartment. With colored windows and the look of a tall building, it was straight out of the cartoon! I half expected the Man With the Yellow Hat and the doorman to pop out to greet PJ! Much like the cartoon, it was colorful and bright while still soft and soothing- a quality that is one of my favorite things about the Curious George cartoons! Inside, PJ explored shadows, color and light, having a blast making shadow animals on the wall with his Dad. He also enjoyed building with blocks and shining lights on them to create different shadows.
If you have a child with an ASD, or with a sensory-processing disorder, try going to the museum at an "off" time, if possible. Right at opening or an hour or so before closing are often great times to avoid the crowds. You can even call and ask a customer service representative (the LSC website offers live chat!) and inquire about less-crowded times. We were there for a preview, so the crowds were unavoidable. Even so, if you child becomes overwhelmed, try another exhibit. In our case, the swimming fish and paddling turtle in the Our Hudson Home exhibit were soothing when PJ became hyper. PJ had some extra room to move, and with less people came less noise. After a while, he seemed centered again and ready to return to the George exhibit. Particularly, if you are like us and visiting the LSC with a child aged 2-5, there are many other exhibits that are age-appropriate. We found it very easy to navigate the museum and found so many things for PJ to try out!
We had an amazing time and I am very, very excited to have the opportunity to give a lucky reader two tickets for admission to the Liberty Science Center, to check out Curious George: Let's Get Curious and explore all of the amazing exhibits (be sure to say hello to my friend, the turtle!)! This is my first "real" giveaway and I am thrilled to pass on the opportunity to check out such a great asset to my lovely Garden State!
To enter, go visit the Liberty Science Center website and tell me what part of the Curious George: Let's Get Curious exhibit you think your child will enjoy the most by leaving a comment below! You can also enter by tweeting me at @abreezylifeblog, be sure to include #meetGeorgeatLSC in your tweet! Enter both ways to increase your chances, and be sure to pass on this giveaway to a friend with a young learner! This giveaway will end at noon on April 7th, with the winner contacted and announced that evening right here!
GOOD LUCK, FRIENDS!
|Saying goodbye to the Liberty Science Center!|
Disclosure: Our giveaway tickets are being provided by the Liberty Science Center. We were invited to to attend the preview of the Curious George: Let's Get Curious exhibit free of change and offered the opportunity to review it. That said, all of the opinions here are my own and completely truthful.
A few more pictures from our time at the LSC: