Catherine Verdier lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter. She blogs about kid-friendly living in Hampton Roads at Where the Watermelons Grow.
By the Sunday after Christmas, everybody in our house was feeling a little stir crazy. We decided together that we wanted to get out and go somewhere -- too bad it was raining like crazy, which eliminated a bunch of options.
We ended up pulling on our galoshes and piling in the car and driving to the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, hoping for something to take our minds off of all of the wrapping paper still left to be cleaned up and thank you notes to be written. It did not disappoint.
Anouk ran immediately for the moon bounce and stayed there for a good long time. When we were finally able to pry her away, we toured the exhibits, including one on the Wright Brothers and another small one on the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.
Some additional big hits were the paper airplane station (James's fave) and the commercial aircraft with the open cockpit (pretty cool, though just peeking through the doorway was enough to trigger my fear of flying).
Overall, it must be admitted that there wasn't a ton for the toddler set to do, though Anne never seemed bored. I think the center's most interesting offerings (flight simulators, IMAX theater) are best geared more toward the 6-12 age group.
There were several interesting-looking interactive displays that might have been up our little one's alley, but unfortunately, a number of them were out of service. Kind of a letdown, but not enough to rain on our parade.
The VASC did have one of the best gift shops I've seen in a long time and that's saying something, as I'm a gift shop connoisseur. Tons of NASA gear, science books, and "real-life" astronaut suits. I'm keeping it in mind for birthday season.
Photo Credits: Catherine Verdier
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