Thursday, May 17, 2012

Everybody Walk the Dinosaur: Toddler Tuesdays at the NCM Launch Zone

We've been to the NCM Launch Zone before for some of their weekend events, including Pirate Day, but hadn't checked out any of their weekday programs yet.  So when this past Tuesday looked like rain all day and our playgroup was canceled, we headed out to National Harbor to check out Toddler Tuesdays with some of our buddies.  Mom was not having an all star day (and it was only 9 a.m.).  Her first mistake was likely taking us to Target before our outing that day.  Target trips are usually reserved for those witching hours, when everything has already gone to H anyway.  A pre-outing Target trip was just setting all of us up, but we decided to rally and push through.

Because we were going to the Launch Zone, I expected pirates upon arrival.  So we had a long talk in the car on the way about why there weren't pirates during prehistoric times and when mom tried to explain the concept of evolution to me, including that people actually evolved from apes, I laughed and told her "that doesn't even matter."  One of our other buddies had a long talk about extinction on the way, too.  Plus there's this song we know from school about dinos being in the bible .... Who knew a little trip to the Launch Zone would raise such big issues?

Anywho, we got there a little bit early (Tuesday drop in programs run from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and found a good spot on the street.  We ran down to check out the Awakening, only to find it blocked off.  Harumph.  So instead we ran around on the pier with mom yelling after us to stop running.  We pretended mom was a dinosaur trying to eat our stomaches.  And laughed and laughed and laughed.  And then we started running again and, well, I bit it.  Badly.  My knee, my elbow, both hands, and my face.  Ugh.  After I screamed "I can't walk!" for about 5 minutes, mom convinced me to shake it off and we headed up to the Launch Zone (where the nice staff members gave us a few bandaids!).

The Launch Zone isn't big, but they do a good job of spreading out different activities.  There was a "make a dino print" station where staff members helped kids make imprints of dino feet in clay (which we got to take home) and make crayon rubbings of dinos, a match up the dino station, lots of dino books, and lots of dinosaurs with which to play.  Cam of course wanted to play with the resident dollhouse, which was fine for a while, but then some small skirmish (with mom) over the dollhouse washing machine set her OFF and she wouldn't stop screaming.  And she wouldn't let mommy put her down.  Fortunately, a nice staff member (with whom I was OBSESSED) spent a lot of time with me reading books.  Cam eventually got it together and we hit up Potbelly with our buddies for lunch (where I tried to start eating my PB&J on the floor and pushed mom right over the edge).  Oh and then we returned to the car to find a parking ticket -- issued two minutes before.

We'll be back (hopefully when mom is in a better mood!)  Haven't been to the Launch Zone yet?  Here's what's going on for the rest of the month:

Toddler Tuesdays: Prehistoric Adventures
May 15 and 22nd -- 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Drop-in program designed especially for ages 2 to 4.  Activities may include stories, games, art and movement.

Imagination Playground Play Date
May 20 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.), 26 (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.), 27 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.), and 28 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Go play with the Launch Zone's new Imagination Playground -- open-ended play tools that let kids use their imaginations to build castles, pirate ships and more.

SunWise Kick Off
May 19 -- 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Go join the Launch Zone as they kick off a summer of sun safety!  Learn about UVB rays and SPF through fun activities like making your own sun visor and UV color-changing bracelet.  In addition, at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., NCM will present its original production of Princess Sunni's Birthday.  Best suited for ages 3 to 8, the performance will help kids learn about sun safety.

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