Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Free Fun Fridays Are A Must This Summer

For years now the Highland Street Foundation has been offering fun exhibits in Massachusetts for free every Friday all summer long. Every year the list of exhibits grow. Last summer we didn't go to any of the free fun Fridays because we were having multiple guests from out of state at multiple different times in the summer. I also have other obligations as I was pregnant with Freya and I agreed to watch my friends' kids while they were at work. This year I have a few places in mind that I really want to go to and I am determined to go this year.

Here is this years list...

In the past we have done the Plimoth Plantation and the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The Plimouth Plantation is on my list to go to this year. I also want to go to Battleship Cove, I haven't been there since I was a child. The Peasbody Essex Museum is on my list so is the House of the Seven Gables. I also want to take the tour on the USS Constitution. 

Let me share with you my experiences at the Free Fun Friday events. First, there was our visit to the Plimouth Plantation. Morrigan and I went with friends. It was pouring rain when we got there but we were determined to go so we waited out the rain until it was only sprinkling. Luckily they sell rain ponchos for this very reason. The trails were muddy and bless her heart, my friend was very pregnant with twins no less and she walked all the way through the muddy trails and everything. 

I've gone to the Plantation as a kid but as an adult it takes on a whole new reality about human endurance and how this land once looked. We first saw the Natives who were farming and making a new hut. We got to go inside the huts and ask questions about their food and clothes. It was amazing to see how well they lived with the land. It was great to show Morrigan an example of how her ancestors lived. I explained to her of course the Cherokee used different techniques, ate different things, and had a different language but there is so little positive Native American images in society that any chance I can get to show her something that will give her a better understanding of Native life I will take it.
The rain stopped by the time we got to the English section of the exhibit. We were able to talk to a few women farming about society in the 17th century. We were able to go into the houses and the people talked about their travels over here and how they had to leave loved ones behind in England. History really came to life and it made much of what was learned more than just a memory but a realization for Morrigan and the adults. There were demonstrations on how guns were used. A man explained to a bunch of children the way a gun was loaded and was fired in the 17th Century. The wonderful thing was how people were in character but explained things so that we, the modern people, could understand. It was a wonderful trip that really makes you feel like you traveled back in time witnessing the past first hand.

Our visit to the Buttonwood Park Zoo was with my family. Both my sister-in-law and I were pregnant so we were very happy to see there was a cafe that sold drinks and food there. The food wasn't too bad actually, its no Chili's or Olive Garden but it had decent food for a cafe in a zoo. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, Morrigan, Chris, and I walked through the exhibit first and then the two dads took the little girls for a train ride around the zoo. We also put the kids on the carousel which was so fun to see my niece ride on one of her favorite animals, the zebra. The Buttonwood Park Zoo has animals that can be found in the wild in America like deer, canes, fish, toads, owls, and buffalo. There are farm animals like the pigs, goats, cows, bulls, and horses. Also a few exotic animals like the elephants. We really enjoyed the bird of prey, its been a thing since red tailed hawks and broad wing hawks nest in the woods behind my parents house. We could see rather close up a few bald eagles. It was my first time see one so close. Also, Morrigan made a friend out of the black bear. He came right up to the glass like he wanted to talk to Morrigan. She spent some time in front of his enclosure and when she had to leave so did he which disappointed the people that came up behind her. There were a few animals that would just walk around like the cranes and the ducks. The cranes were following my niece and Morrigan through the windows in the cafe. They also made the strangest noise that could be heard through the zoo. It was great fun and definitely worth another visit. I have a pass from the Museum of Science that gets me and a guest in to the Buttonwood Park Zoo anyhow so I will probably do a different Free Fun Friday exhibit on that day but I recommended it for anyone else. I'm considering the Franklin Park Zoo for that day.

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