Museum of Science: 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114 

Science_experiement_2Everywhere I turn, there is talk about the need to get more children, especially girls, interested in science and engineering. I know my girls really like trying out science experiments and building things. We’ve found a lot of fun ideas in FamilyFun magazine (FamilyFun is one of our TV show partners) as well as ideas from Pinterestand enjoy building kits like those from GoldieBlox. However, our favorite way to learn about science is at the many amazing science museums all around the country.

So when I was in Boston for my family travel show, I met up with a family for some fun at the Museum of Science, Boston. Mom, Rania Kfuri, is the founder of Free Like Birdie, which is a wonderful collection of travel bags and accessories geared for families. Needless to say, Rania travels quite a bit with her own family. We have been friends on social media for a while, so it was fun to meet in person and enjoy a visit to the science museum together.

We started our day at the museum in the Discovery Center, which is designed for children under 8 years old. The kids had fun pretending they were insects and dressing up at one of the stations. The center offered many hands on activities suited for this age group and the children had fun playing some of the educational games that were offered. Educators from MIT and Harvard collaborate with members from the center to create exhibits that enhance learning development…definitely a perk of being in Boston to have the close relationships with great institutes of higher learning. The Discovery Center is very popular and can fill up quickly so there may be wait times to enter. When this happens, you may want to explore the many other areas of the museum and check back at a later time.Science_Play_area

One spot we made sure to visit was the Live Animal Presentations, which are offered a couple of times a day. We had the chance to learn about an armadillo and were able to ask questions and even see it up close at the end of the presentation. It was much hairier than I thought it would be! The armadillo is part of the Museum of Science’s Live Animal Care Center, which has over 120 animals it takes care of. The Live Animal Presentation is just one of many scheduled activities at the museum so be sure to check out the complete list of activities to plan your visit.

Before leaving the museum for the day, we made it a point to take the girls to try a design challenge. Though recommended for grades 4-10, we were able to help the kids in our family design, build and test a prototype of their soaring satellite. The challenge was to design a satellite that would hover inside a wind tube, staying within the marked area. We were thrilled when our satellite met the challenge on our first try! Design Challenges are offered every day between 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Gordon Current Science & Technology Center. The challenges vary from creating a bobsled to designing a wind powered boat.

It was an extraordinary visit to the Museum of Science, Boston. No doubt, your family could spend an entire day just exploring all that the museum has to offer, especially with all of the hands on activities and animal interactions. Bonus: it’s also a CityPASS attraction, so you can save money and skip the lines with your special ticket which you can purchase at any of the CityPASS locations or ahead of your visit on their website.

Boston Harbor Hotel: 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 

Boston_Harbor_shootAfter a wonderful visit to the Museum of Science, Boston, I met back at the hotel with another family for some fun. A must have on my hotel list is a pool because when all else fails, swimming is a great activity on vacation…especially in the winter time! The Boston Harbor Hotel was a fantastic choice for our family vacation episode because not only did it offer a phenomenal location, plenty of amenities for kids (so few hotels offer strollers, car seats, bed rails, games & toys, even kid size bathrobes!), it also had a skating rink open in the winter time and an indoor pool.

While the kids splashed around and played in the water, the adults in the group chatted poolside. We all agreed that a pool is key on vacation, but we learned that it could also have some unexpected benefits…besides just tiring the kids out! Science can be found in places you would least expect! The pool at the Boston Harbor Hotel is actually a salt water pool and while we were there, we learned about the benefits of salt water to one’s health. It has been said that swimming in salt water can soothe and cleanse your skin, improve your blood flow and even reduce inflammation in your joints and muscles. Here’s where the science comes in… Articles have been written that salt water helps promote the body’s natural self-healing processes. So, the more you swim, the better you will look and feel, which is exactly what you want on vacation!

Beside the wonderful pool, the Boston Harbor Hotel offered so many other services and luxuries for a family on vacation. I personally like to splurge on my hotel stay because in my opinion, it’s one of the best parts about being on vacation. Fine linens, deluxe room service and luxurious furnishings all add up to the perfect getaway in my book. And at the Boston Harbor Hotel, we truly escaped…it was wonderful and can’t wait to go back!

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