But having kids actually opens a lot of doors for fun things to do. This year, while John was at work, I took the kids to The Children's Museum of Denver. I don't think I've done a post on this place yet, but it is awesome. Last year Chelsee, Katie and Adam took them there while John and I went skiing. I did not discover the awesomeness of it until just before Halloween. We now go regularly.
On Tuesday they had a special event called Noon Year's Eve complete with their own "Time Square" and shiny ball that dropped on the hour starting at 10am. It was so fun and worth the crowd, even if I did have a short lived but terrifying scare with losing Ethan. We arrived around 10:45 (it started at 10) and it was so packed that the traffic was backed up on the exit ramp to get to the museum. Thankfully we are members as they were only letting members park in their lot. Everyone else had to find a spot somewhere else and pay for it. The ball had just dropped as we walked up and a high school band was playing Auld Lang Syne while tons of kids where frantically popping bubble wrap they had set out on the ground. We proceeded into the mad house that was the museum upon Aaron's insistence that we start with the rocket ship exhibit. It was shoulder to shoulder crowded and there was just no way to keep track of my two crazy boys by myself. So we decided to go see what was going on outside. I had packed a lunch so we found a picnic table, watched the band practice, and checked out the cool mirrored ball.
At 10 minutes till noon the band came out and the DJ announced that a business had donated 10 miles of bubble wrap for today's event!! They had duck taped it in squares and for each ball drop and spread it out in a 50 x 30 foot rectangle. Since we were already outside we got almost front row spots to watch as a polar bear danced around to the band's music.
Anxiously waiting to trample the bubble wrap.
The countdown began and we watched as the ball dropped with each number we counted down. Have you ever heard hundreds of feet trampling on bubble wrap? It sounds like fireworks! The confetti burst at noon and the kids raced to the bubbles. My crowd anxious Aaron stayed close to me but in the chaos, Ethan raced away from my sight in the sea of people. Luckily we found in minutes but if felt like an eternity.
Though we were having fun, I was pretty much done with the huge crowd of people at that point so we headed to the playground right outside of the museum for a bit. It was also packed, but my boys managed to find a perfect tree to climb that no one else was playing on. Whew! I needed some recovery time after my scare. After a few minutes and some snackage, we headed for the mini train ride next. The boys were so excited to ride an "Aaron and Ethan sized" train.
After their train ride we sat from afar and watched the ball drop one more time. Then it was home to rest up for our evening plans!
Later that night I packed us dinner (homemade cal-zones which are easy to eat on the go) and waters and met John at the Hospital just across the street from the rail station we were going to. John quickly changed clothes and we loaded up the pack for Ethan and headed for the "train." The boys were talking about the train ride all day. They were very excited about it. After about the first two stops however, they were ready to be there already! It was decently roomy when we first got on but the closer we got to the city the more packed it became until there was no standing room left and people were forced to wait until the next train because ours was so packed. It was a nice ride though. Everyone was very happy and courteous and there were lots of kids with their families, all headed downtown to watch the fireworks. All transit was free because of New Year's Eve.
Aaron started complaining about his stomach the moment we got off the light rail. We figured he needed to go to the bathroom so we stopped at a pizza restaurant/bar and John took him inside. He did his business but continued to complain about his stomach. Ethan and I were waiting outside and it was taking so long I knew something was wrong. John and Aaron came out of the restaurant and Aaron promptly vomited all over their walkway. Directly in front of the door so that it was nearly impossible t leave their restaurant without stepping in it. John went in to let them know and we ducked out of the way to tend to Aaron who was now telling us he felt much better and can we please stay for the fireworks.
That was our mistake! We walked on and found a spot to settle in and see the display but just as the first one went off, Aaron was sick again. John whisked him away to a parking lot where they hung out while Ethan and I watched the rest of the fireworks. There was a mass exodus on the way back so the rail was packed and since this was our first time downtown via the light rail, we were unfamiliar with how they worked and got on the wrong train - headed to Littleton. Meanwhile, Aaron got sick again. Luckily it was so crowded that we were in the stair well and the people surrounding us were very supportive and helpful, offering us kleenex's and wipes and even food and water which we politely turned down. We didn't want him to throw it back up. That's when we discovered we were on the wrong train so we promptly got off and hitched the next W line only it was going back to Union Station. Seriously? How hard is this? The next one we got on was the right one. But it was so packed that we were squished tightly and Aaron was still getting sick. It wasn't until one stop before ours that it finally cleared out enough to sit. He got sick again in the parking lot when we got back to the car. I felt so bad for him. All he wanted to do was sleep.
When we got home everyone went to bed but me and I got so engrossed in a silly TV show that I missed the midnight ball drop anyway! Despite Aaron's illness, it was a pretty cool event. We will definitely go again next year. We spent zero dollars for fun family entertainment.
Aaron is doing better now though I think he still has the bug a little as he's not quite back to his normal self. We hope you had a fantastic New Year! I'm really looking forward to 2014. Lots of new adventures. Hopefully our house will sell, maybe we'll find a new place here, Jenny's having her baby soon, and Ethan is starting school. Hello 2014 - it's nice to meet you!