Today we got started on the Albuquerque museum spree. We had planned on three museums, but only got to two of them, which was actually plenty! The first was the International Balloon Museum. This museum opened up just last year and it still looks like a work in progress. The cafe isn't open yet and there are some unfinished spaces. We had a nice time, but I was very disappointed to find that photography isn't allowed in most of the museum. I did get a couple of photos of the approved exhibit and then asked if it would be alright to take a photo at another one that was really cool. This Gondola, called the Double Eagle V, was the first to make a trans-Pacific crossing in 1981.
This exhibit is the one I had to ask about. The balloon is on a wire and the kids are pushing a button which releases hot air into the balloon and tells you the interior temperature. When you decide to release it you can see how far up it will go. It was fun to try various temperatures to see what would happen. We were able to make it go all the way to the ceiling when we heated the interior to 170 degrees.
We left the museum and headed out to a nearby co-op to pick up food for lunch. After a quick lunch in the hotel room we walked over to Old Town intending to visit the Rattlesnake Museum. Ryan was especially disappointed to find the museum closed, but we walked over to Explora! for a few hours. Since we got in with a reciprocal membership we didn't worry that it was already 2 pm. We had a fantastic time in Explora! It's full of great hands-on exhibits and many of them are new to us. When you go to so many science museums you tend to see a lot of stuff over and over again. Luckily, Explora! has a lot of variety.
The Rube Goldberg style ball machine is always a hit!
Ryan was thrilled to make this little airplane lift off and fly in the current of a fan.
The electric circuit exhibits kept us all busy for at least 45 minutes. Chloe really picked it up quickly. Ryan has been interested in electricity for a long time. He got so excited when he was able to create a circuit with a switch that lit up a bulb. I think we may need one of these soon!
We love building toys of all kinds, so when we saw the roof-top construction zone, we had to get out there and make something.
The tops table was also great fun. We also discovered something interesting. I was taking a flash photo when one of the flat tops was spinning (these have various graphic designs on them) and at the moment of the flash the design looked like it had stopped. Chloe liked this effect, so I took several more flash photos just so we could see that.
Ryan made a friend and they made and raced sailcars together.
It was a good day even though tiring. We had a delicious dinner at the Melting Pot fondue restaurant and headed back to the hotel for an evening swim. Tomorrow more museums and hopefully some photos of Old Town.