On a cold and cloudy day, which is rare in Tucson, we decided we would spend the day inside. We all loaded up, drove over Gates Pass to the IWM. This place was on my list of things to do, and we were waiting for just this sort of day. The IWM is on our list of reciprocal museums with our membership from the Putnum, so we all got in for free.
When we walked into the lobby, we were greeted by a pet-able wild boar, which the kids loved. The museum is really kid friendly, as they have lots of animals set up just for the kids to touch and inspect.
There are themed rooms like:
- The insect room, which has drawers and drawers of butterflies and beetles for the kids to pull out and closely look at.
- There is a fossil and bones collections, were the kids could actually handle the skulls, and even see how they cast missing bones to complete an entire animal.
- A room dedicated to the history of Smokey the Bear, and wildfires, explaining the benefits and negatives.
- A room with a mountain in the center, and wild sheep and goats all over it.
- And a miscellaneous room with couches and chairs to sit and let the kids explore.
- Oh, and I almost forgot - a cave like room with night creatures.
There is also a little theatre where a different nature type movie is played at the top of every hour. It also has the typical gift shop, and a nice little cafe with a little kids nook equipped with a DVD player and books.
There was a lot to do, and the older kids, including myself, could have easily spent several days here exploring; we even talked about how cool it would be to spend the night with the animals. However, the twins and Ciara were making it difficult for others in the museum to enjoy themselves, so we wrapped it up after about three hours. One man was not quite so nice about expressing his irritation stating, "This is a museum, and the kids should be quieter". Which I nicely replied, "I am sorry they are bothering you, we will move ahead of you a bit". But I was thinking, How else are they suppose to learn to appreciate museums if they don't learn while they are young, and they have just as much right to be here as you - wear some earplugs if you want silence.
Then, we opened the doors to leave and were greeted with snow! The perfect way to end our adventure or begin the next one :)