Christmas Eve is one of those days where you wonder if things are open and what can you do with your family. Luckily most things are open, just not all day. When we lived in LA we spent many a Christmas Eve at the LA Zoo and it was pretty awesome, nearly always empty and so relaxing and peaceful.
Christmas Eve 2011 here in PDX was beautiful! Low 40s and sunny! We wanted to get the kids out of the house and enjoy the day. Since Donx is coming down with a cold we needed to be inside, even though we really wanted to spend time outside. The boys suggested OMSI and they were open. Although we've been to OMSI a few times we've never gone into the Science Playground and it has been on my list of things to do with Crash during the day so this was perfect.
We packed up the kiddos and headed over. To our surprise and utter joy it was relatively empty! Yay!!!! The thing I like best about the Science Playground is the room closes itself off from the rest of the museum ensuring curious little toddlers don't bolt out the entryway to some other part of the museum. (Hence the reason this was on my list of things to do with Crash). There are lots of activities and play areas in the Science Playground: pretend play areas, sand pit, water table play, arts & crafts in the Discovery Lab and a few other educational and fun stations. The kids had a blast and honestly we didn't go anywhere else in OMSI, we spent over 2-hours in the Science Playground before packing it in and headed home.
There was a pretend play/educational woodland/forest creature area the kids were enjoying. There were numerous puppets and I found a beautiful large Horned Owl puppet. Now, Crash loves, loves, loves owls (and kittens) and I new she would just love this puppet. I slipped my hand in and was surprised to find a handle to rotate the owls head and levers to make the owl blink - im sure for a two year old this was extremely realistic. I set the owl up to appear to be standing on my arm and called Crash over. I made quiet "whoooing" sounds and moved its head just slightly and had the owl blink at her. I made the owl interact with her as best I could . She was taken aback. She stared at the owl so deeply, leaned in close to glare into its blinking eyes. As I made the owl lean into her neck and nuzzle its head in she threw her arms around the owl's body hugging it and gently kissed its head. She'd slowly back away and the owl would stare at her and blink once or twice and again she leaned in and stared so fiercely into its eyes. It was an amazing thing to watch. I took the owl off my arm and she immediately scooped it up and held it and tried to make him stand up and was confused why he wouldn't. Rather then get frustrated she hugged the owl and carried it around with her for most of the time we were there. It was simply darling and I desperately wanted to buy it for her but the gift shop didn't sell it.....but....Amazon does!!!