So we went south to the Virginia Discovery Museum. Its a really great find if you have young children and are in Charlottesville. Not such a big deal to drive an hour and forty to specifically visit. If you're headed to Monticello, and the kids look bored, reward them with a stop in.
It has lots to do in a small space. There are train tables, machine to explore, dress-up stages, art rooms, a log cabin, and even a guinea pig. There is a special room just for toddlers with climbing equipment and lots of small exhibits for hands-on exploring. In the back there is an exhibit that changes; right now it is about Native Americans. And all the way back is a rel bee hive, the kind you can look for the queen bee.
It is all really exciting, and noisy, and lots of kids having fun. Everything seemed well-maintained, which is to be expected for $4 a head. The noise was a bit much for the guys, but we found the quiet spots- the loft in the log cabin was a favorite, because there was a window up there, so JOey could get into the light. The back room was quieter, too. Everything was interactive, so kids at several different levels could learn something from everything, without it being boring for parents. The space a bit small, though.
Joey resorted to tracking as he wore out, which was a little disconcerting. trying to talk about Native Americans or native Virginia plants or anything proved fruitless. Once he starts tracking, he's done. Maybe the next time we go for a Kluge day, we'll stop in again and bite off another small piece of learning...