By Meredith Acorn, MomsCharlotte.com user ("Meredith")
When I venture out with all the kids, I try to find activities that will interest all of my children, which can be challenging since they range in age from preschool to middle school. But the Discovery Place Circus Exhibit did the trick. We tried to check out as many of the 20-plus, interactive, circus-themed displays as we could at Discovery Place last week. Then again, it was a Friday afternoon after a busy week, and I was alone with my 3 kids... you do the math.
The moment we arrived, my oldest made a bee line to the High Wire – which she had already been on during an earlier school field trip. My son was old enough (you have to be at least 7 years old), but had absolutely no desire to try his hand at tight rope walking.
That meant I had to do it. Drat. As I proceeded to harness up, they told me I could walk across the tight rope in my high heeled leather demi boots, but it probably was not the best idea; and no bare feet allowed. Quickly thinking, I grabbed my daughter’s paint splatter sneakers...lovely...and headed up the ladder. You know, it doesn’t look quite as high from the ground as it does from up there. But I had faith that the harness would do its job...or that the laws of gravity would not apply to me. I did it. I really did. Although there is no photographic evidence of me, since my daughter forgot to raise the flash when she took my photo and all you can see is a blurry blob.
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Next on the must-do list: The Elastic Acrobat Harness. I believe you must also be at least 7 years old to try this exhibit. And once again, only my oldest daughter and I gave this a whirl, literally! This is where they strap you into a harness attached to a bungee cord and spring you up into the air; then once up there, you can choose to bounce up and down or do flips. The harness is fairly snug, and I would recommend wearing some comfortable, loose pants and heavy duty Granny panties for this one. Not...say, your black lace Victoria’s Secret sexy thong panties because it was waaaay past laundry day and your mother always told you to wear clean underwear, just in case. Well...unless you wish to risk the chance of internal injuries in a personal area and/or self neutering. I already have enough kids, so I wasn’t concerned about the neutering. This was really fun, too. I mean, aside from needing to surgically remove my underwear afterward. My daughter was able to flip both backwards and forwards. I had a little more body weight to flip around and was only able to flip backwards. And once again, no photographic evidence, but I swear I did do this one, too.
Next we hit the Circus Smells display, which my children thoroughly enjoyed. I have to say; I really do not enjoy smells out of context like that and was glad we visited that display after the bungee cord bouncing and flipping upside down because I was feeling slightly nauseous. Oh no. You don’t think I am pregnant again, do you?
Where better to go when feeling nauseous than the Circus Animal Dung display? Yes, my children touched, explored, read about and completely enjoyed the Circus Animal Dung. Are these the same children that scream and run when I ask them to scoop dog poop out of the yard?! I sure hope those were clay replicas, not the real thing. Hmmm...better go sanitize their hands again, just in case.
Next my kids wanted to check out the Creative Costume Play Area...and got in trouble for taking the costumes out of that area. Sorry ‘bout that. I had a few moments to rest while all three kids tried on the circus act costumes and put on multiple shows for me. Very cute.
The last area where all three kids were able to play together was the Human Cannonball display. This is where they took aim at targets, shot balls (cannons) and had fun learning about pneumatics and trajectories. There are many other displays, making this a fun afternoon with something to do for kids of all ages – preschool through middle school. A definite thumbs up!