Saturday, October 5, 2013

Another Staycation: Exploration Place

Did you think I had stopped taking Staycations?  You know, those little trips that I find close to home, with my self imposed rules:

1. Round trip must be less than or equal to 80 miles (128.75 km).

2. Must be achievable in a single day.

3. No more than $15.00 (USD) can be spent (does
NOT include fuel).  See my right sidebar for monetary conversions in your country.

Since I was trying to avoid my basement project, I decided a trip to Exploration Place was in order.  So that's what I did on Thursday.  

Back in late 2011, I first took you to Exploration Place.  I spent several Silent Sundays (here, here, here, here, here, and here)

that took us into 2012 while showing you this fun museum. 

This year I had a better lay of the land, so took a few minutes to take more outside views of the

main entrance.  This building also houses the Dome Theater, which requires an additional ticket to visit.  There's also a live science show that requires a second ticket to take part in.  Miniature golf requires yet another ticket.  To see all these and play miniature golf will cost you $16.50 (USD) if you're between the ages of 12 and 64.  I purchased the adult "exhibits only" ticket for $9.50 (USD).

In 2011, I made the mistake of visiting on a Saturday.  There were so many people there, I couldn't get decent photos without someone being in the photo.  And I'm the oddball who prefers to not have people clutter up my photos!  In the photo, you can see the river (or lack of it) outside the window.  Yes, that is the Arkansas River, in about the spot where the two rivers (the Big and Little Arkansas) that run through my city come together.

Another angle from that year shows the outside patio where you could sit to watch the "river."  Please note outside the windows where there is green grass or something similar.  Also note the circular protrusion leading to a square protrusion that is directly in back of the small patio area.  That will become important soon, as will the building across the "river" in the upper left of the photo, as well as in the center and right side of the one below.  Of course, in 2011, my intent was to try to make the tornado work, but there were too many people there

who kept interfering with it, so it never got up to speed.  Had I been less intent on the tornado, I would have taken more shots of this really non-existent river.  So that was my REAL mission this year.

This year I'm outside, looking in at the tornado and another table in the background.  It can be seen in the photo from 2011, too.  Now look at that river!!

It's been nearly two months since the flooding in Wichita, but the river is still high enough to call itself a real river.

In fact, it's a very mighty river

by which people sit or jog or stroll past.

And remember when I asked you to remember these two obtrusions?  Scroll backward to the photo showing the patio in 2011, if you don't remember what the photo looked like.  No green grass in this photo, only waves of water flapping in harmony against the walls.

It was obvious from my position on the patio that I could not get a good shot of the side of the river where the two rivers converge.  Back inside, I captured these photos through glass that reflected into the photos.  This is where the confluence is, the dam is, and the walkway that spans both sides of "Keeper of the Plains," a lovely sculpture created by Blackbear Bosin.  You can see more photos of the Keeper and the walkway bridge here.

Shown above is another view of where the two rivers converge and the Keeper, although it's obvious

our polluted river has receded since August.

Back inside, I had much of the place to myself.  I was thrilled to see a few new exhibits,

especially in the airplane/flight area.  This plane could be manipulated using the hand turner "thingy" (technical term for I have no idea what it's called) you see on the left of the cage above the seat, to fly and land the plane.  The entire plane could turn and spin.  It was a lot of fun to play with it once I had taken a few photos.

I could have taken hundreds of photos, but I had taken so many the first time I visited, I decided to limit photos to those I've never taken before.

Not only did I want to get a photo of the bee dance (because I believe that bees should be on the endangered species list), but also wanted to show the huge plane in flight behind this exhibit.

Of course, I had to be a kid and play with the bee dance.  Thankfully, not many other patrons were around so I could be my true self and really enjoy the day (grin).

Down one hallway, I saw this set of bird photos.  Fun to see, even if my camera didn't capture all of them.

So how did I do on my Staycation?  This one wasn't cheap, but Exploration Place is possibly the premier and most respected science center in the state.

1.  Round trip was less than 5 miles (about 8.04 Km).

2.  I spent about 3 hours in the museum.

3.  I spent $9.50 for one adult admission to the museum only.  I didn't visit the gift shop.

Because I was one of very few people in the museum, I spent a lot of time just enjoying the river and the exhibits I had remembered and enjoyed in the past.  It was a fun day, and I went home tired and hungry.

Sadly, I wasn't any more motivated to work in my basement!  But that time will come now that October has arrived and I've played away an entire month with nothing to show for it, except visits to several museums.  Thanks for joining me on this fun trip.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Nan G said...

What a cool place. Love theirs of the 'non-river' and then 'the' river! This sounds like a wonderful way to relax, unwind and explore the area around you. Once things settle down for me I will give this Staycation a try. :) Hugs

Helen said...

That looks like a fun day out, even if it did tire you out!

~*~Patty S said...

It's great that you got away from working in the basement to have some fun!

I'm with you on trying to capture shots without lots of people in them which can often be challenging...
smart of you to pick a week day to visit E!

AND that river = Wowee what a difference a couple of years made

I would have been drawn to the bee exhibit too, I've always had a thing for them...
hoping the world decides to take care of them and not obliterate them completely because well we all know what that would mean...

glad you had such a fine day...thanks for sharing

see you there! said...

Looks like an interesting place to visit. I enjoyed the river pictures, I'm always attracted to water. Nice that you live in an area with so much to do that doesn't actually break the budget.


Marilyn J. Rock said...

Another fun "stay cation" to share with us! Looks like a cool place!

NatashaMay said...

Great photos! Looks like you had fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a gorgeous and full day!

Halle said...

Looks like a fun day. The difference between the river is remarkable. Living about 5 miles or so north the MN river valley, I know the change that can occur in the look of the river...often in a short time.

Corrine at said...

I like the back and forth in time views. Nice museum. Especially visiting in the off time wothout the crowds. That is some big confluence of river you showed. So sad it's polluted. Most of our rivers here have been cleaned up nicely There is something special about a river running through a city, a connectedness that I enjoy. Thanks for the great views. xox

Lisa Graham Art said...

One of my favorite places to walk is right there. When we had all the rain all the bike path was completely under water, even the benches outside overlooking the river.

voodoo vixen said...

You really do have some fabulous places to visit quite close to home E!! Gosh the water level for the river is still pretty high too... hope it goes down before you get any more rain!

Krisha said...

Great photos, I love to see where my friends live, the basement will still be there when your ready to tackle it, LOL

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This looks like a wonderful place to "play"! I don't like a lot of people in my photos either--you picked a good day to visit. Beats working in the basement any day!

Jo Murray said...

You did well...I'd never be able to bypass a museum gift shop.

Terrie Purkey said...

I love your idea of staycations and think most of us could probably find lots to visit or revisit in our own hometowns. Thanks for sharing a bit about where you live -