“Dad, what’s global warming?”

ecoIt’s March in New England. Hard to believe the planet’s getting hotter. (I know – and I actually do believe it … I’m just saying …)

Usually by this time of year we’ve had enough of the snow, grey and seemingly lifeless landscape. It’s this time of year that as a family we seek out new and interesting places that offer escape from the doldrums of winter. 

Some families go to the Bahamas. Others go to Florida.

But we have a four-year old and a one-year old who just last week started sleeping through the night (most of the night that is.)

So we go local, and not over night – at least for the next few years.

Last year, we visited Tower Hill Botanical Gardens just outside of Boston. Which, although it boasts its best in summer, has a wonderful indoor garden as well. It’s a well-spent afternoon.

This week, my wife and I one night, huddled together in front of the glow of the computer, discovered the EcoTarium.

Their homepage says it best:

[ … The EcoTarium is a unique indoor-outdoor museum in Worcester, MA. Set in an urban oasis, the EcoTarium offers a chance to walk through the treetops, take a thrilling multimedia journey through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet wildlife, stroll nature trails, ride a narrow-gauge railroad, and get hands-on with family-friendly exhibits …]

We went.

It’s a nice family alternative to the Museum of Science ,which once you’ve been a few times, kind of loses its magic.

Still, science and nature has a special place in our family. Our oldest has proclaimed more times than we can count, “I’m going to be an animal rescuer when I grow up.” We feel, even though he’s four, it’s important to nurture our children’s individual dreams early on. Too often when we’re young, we’re talked out of (by others and by ourselves) what we feel in our hearts is most important. In today’s environmental climate, I feel really proud to have a little guy who is so devoted to helping the planet – and I’m devoted to helping him do it.

The hour -and-a-half drive to the EcoTarium, and being repeatedly asked, “When are we going be there?”, was well worth it.

eco3Plenty of parking and fair price; we’re big fans of both. A few highlights are the energetic staff of educators, of course the live polar bear, various animals and plant life and the overall “science enrichment” ambiance of the place.

A word of caution: If you do go in the winter, pack a lunch. They had a cafe, which looked nice, but was closed during the off season. We were left shopping from four vending machines that offered nothing resembling a balanced lunch.

But a postponed lunch light snack was plenty to finish the tour. The place is big, with many indoor displays and some outdoors, but is not huge, as in, “How are we ever going to see everything in one day?!”, huge. So it makes for a good day trip for young science-hungry minds.

eco2

And after all, isn’t that what’s really important today? Educating our young future leaders about the world we live in, how it works and how to best take care of it and all the little curious creatures (including us) that call it home – all while enjoying time together as a family.

For anyone who agrees, and for anyone like us who can’t wait until the concert of life that spring ushers in, the EcoTarium is a great place to spend the day.

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5 Responses to ““Dad, what’s global warming?””

  1. Annette Says:

    The things that you do and that you share with your children will stay with them as they grow. It is with that information that they will grow strong with wisdom and knowledge to make their generation and there kids understand the importance of our earth. One of the best things with all the time that you spend learning things as a family you’re growing with knowledge and memories that will last forever. Looking forward to reading next weeks thoughts.

  2. Andrew Says:

    Sounds like a great time! I remember my parents taking me to places on cool educational trips. Even if I don’t remember any of the subject matter, I learned that the world is a cool place to explore and I gained permission to explore it. This has enriched my life more than any information I could glean about bugs and such.

  3. Becky Says:

    It’s kind of like grams back yard but with out the “hands on” experiences you and Corey had with the frogs “hopping”, or the cray fish “playing” with each other or the salmander “moeing the lawn.” Hahahaaa… thought it would make you laugh! Thanks for sharing Luke, this makes me happy to get a glimps of what is going on in your life! Give my love to the Fam.

  4. danigary Says:

    Some musings from my classroom: Today’s children are instant gratification digital learners – or what I call the Google Generation. On a daily basis, I am bombarded by questions that they expect to be answered right away. I noticed fairly quickly that if I offered up the answer – that the question (and answer) lost its value altogether. It wasn’t long before I remembered the wise words of Gram, “Well, why don’t you go look it up?” or “Why don’t you figure it out?” or even, “Why don’t you go explore the yard and see what you can find?” Today’s children seem to be lacking in that love for learning on their own… They want the answer and they want it now. Critical Thinking and Inference are incredibly difficult for them. The way that you are enriching the lives of your children will be invaluable as they grow and become independent learners… Your love of learning will be passed on to them, and they will be all the better for it.

    PS Do you think she really meant “Stay out of the creek!” or was that her way of ensuring we’d explore it?! Hahahah!

  5. Teach your children well … « Luke Pinneo Says:

    […] I mentioned before, our oldest son has said many times that he’s going to be an animal rescuer when he grows up. […]

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