Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

“Dad, what’s global warming?”

March 16, 2009

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.


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.