So we made a u-turn and headed off into the great unknown to find the Naturalist Center.
What a cool place! Beyond cool really. The front room is the Family Discovery Room with tons of hands on activities and very exciting stuff to look at and inspect. The kids thought they'd died and gone to heaven.
Ella loved this huge amethyst
A stuffed bear's head tried to eat Hank
Drawer of poop. I'm pretty sure it was fake; at the very least it was covered with some sort of shellac or something. A book was in the drawer with information about the different animals represented by their poo. It told you about their habitat and diet and you had to guess which poo belonged to which animal. I thought it was kind of interesting (maybe I should have been a gastroentrologist??).
Shane studying the Book of Poo.
They had a human skeleton and a deer skeleton that you could put together. There was a canvas tarp with the outlines of the bones drawn on it so you just have to match the bone to the outline. Hank did really well and even knew a bunch of the proper names of bones when quizzed by the docent. I was surprised since we haven't done any kind of biology for school. My little sponge just soaking up knowledge everywhere he goes.
They have another, larger, cooler hands on room in the back but you have to be in 5th grade or older. If you have kids in that range, definitely check out this place because they do classes and field trips for homeschoolers.
Very fun place to go if your kids need a change of scenery (or you do!) and we definitely recommend it!