Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pine Bush Preserve and Discovery Center

I have driven past the Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center numerous times, but finally made it over there last Monday to check it out. (They are not usually open on Mondays, but this was an exception due the school break).

What a great place! The exhibits are new and and engaging with a variety of hands on activities for kids and adults to try. It kind of reminded me of smaller, free-er CMOST.

Some of the highlights for my kids were the binoculars they could use to explore all of the 'indoor wildlife', the wind/sand demonstration, and a very special cookie jar.

There is another room with a story nook, puppets, crafts and other activities to keep little hands and minds busy.

After the indoor discovery, we took to the outdoors to explore the sandy terrain of the Pine Bush trails.

Some Words of Caution (i.e. learn from my mistakes)

1. Study the trail map beforehand. What I thought was going to be a 30 minute stroll, turned into a 2 hour hike because mama took a wrong turn.
2. Eat lunch beforehand. (2 hours with hungry kids makes for a VERY LONG 2 hours).
3. Brush up on some games that help keep little minds off of their little legs hurting.
4. Learn to ignore repeated pleas, like "Carry Me" and "Where's the car?"
5. Rinse and repeat.

Honestly, we did have a really fun time. They played in the snow, made tracks in the mud, listened for birds and other wildlife, and learned to distinguish the different colored trails (something mommy didn't learn fast enough). I once read in a Montessori book that a child is capable of walking a mile for every year of their age. Initially I had my doubts, but after that day, I realize it's not entirely unrealistic.

The Pine Bush has a pretty steady calendar of things to do including guided nature hikes, movies, and educational programs. You can check it out here or for some more descriptions of their educational programs, including a pre-shool program, check here.

Pine Bush Discovery Center

Tuesday-Friday: 9AM-4PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10AM-4PM
Open most holiday Mondays. Please call ahead.
Free and open year round.

1 comment:

  1. Always carry a granola bar in your pocket. Rule number one of having children... that or goldfish crackers.


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