Friday, June 19, 2015

Connecticut Open House Day 2015 or "How I Learned to Stop Skipping and Start Stepping on Stones"

Every year, Connecticut has what they call an "Open House Day" where many attractions which would normally cost money are free.    We were informed via the Hartford Courant that the Pez Factory would have free admission on that day- which was Saturday, June 13th- but Pez themselves told me this was false and eventually, probably by my doing, the Hartford Courant had to edit their story.   Thanks, Hartford Courant for making me do your job for you.    Through my wife's suggestion we instead went down to Norwalk, which is roughly an hour or so drive from us, to a place called Stepping Stones: Museum for Children.    Now, they use the term "museum" loosely because this is mostly a play place where you sort of learn.

Upon arriving, we noticed a nice park that was across the way as well as a park out near the road which was having a Pride celebration that we were just too tired afterwards to attend.   It looked like a lot of fun though.   So when we got inside Stepping Stones someone informed us it would be free but on a normal day we'd have paid $45.   That's $15 per person.  Yes, even $15 for a three year old.   Ridiculous.    Kids under four don't pay full price for anything.   They took our zip code, spouted some rhetoric and we were on our way.    There were a lot of cool things to see and do for kids, but one thing is that this place isn't all that big and so I feel like repeated visits to it might become tiresome.  

They were announcing over the speakers that you could get yearly memberships for what would be the price of us (The three of us) going three times a year, but that means we'd have to go three times a year to make it worthwhile and I just don't think we would do it.    Partially, it's because of the place itself, but mostly it's because of the distance and the fact that there are only so many good months to drive in Connecticut when you're not at risk for being hit by a noreaster.    If it was closer to us it'd be worth considering, but right now we just decided that even going back again and paying the $45 wasn't really worth it because of the distance.

If you do only go once though or happen to live closer, your kids should have fun playing, creating and just all around destroying the place because that seems to sort of be their motto.    They have a section full of tools and other arts and crafts supplies, a section with little plastic balls and a decent amount of water (You will get wet / I hid in an adjoining room)  This all goes between what is called "Express Yourself" (the creating things area), "Build It!" (which is more about learning where they have hammers and such to bang things... It's kind of their construction area, though you can play with tools in "Express Yourself" as well, and magnets and such) and "Energy Lab" is the water part where I hid in "Tot Town".  

Through this all- and it did make for a fun day of something we've never really done before- there is a room in the back, off to the side, simply called the "Multimedia Gallery".   What happens in there?   Images are shown on the wall and floor, such as soccer balls moving that the kids try to kick.   Lights are flashing and music is playing.   It's fairly close to a child version of what I imagine a rave would look like and, um, there was this one employee in there who I didn't see move the entire time we spent there.   I'm pretty sure she was on shrooms, which, hey, if you're going to work there why not trip in the Multimedia Gallery on your lunch break.   (Editor's Note: We are making no accusations and offering no suggestions. Please behave responsibly and appropriately)

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