Three Museums in One Day

With K1 being out of town K2 has been eating up the extra attention these past couple weeks. He’s also been EXTREMELY energetic. EXTREMELY. ENERGETIC. AT 4 AM. FOR REALS.

Me: “Hey kiddo, would you like to go to summer camp too next year?”

K2: “No. Why would I do that? I like being the center of your world!”

In an effort to wear K2 out so he’ll sleep past the asscrack of dawn tomorrow, I said we were going to go to ALL of the Kenosha museums today. Afterwards we would be going on a very long Harbor walk.

Spoiler alert: We only made it to 3 museums (one we went to twice, though). It’s now 8 hours later. He’s still raring to go. I need a nap.

K2 is a total history buff. His latest passion is the history of the US Presidency, but really if it’s from anytime before 1975 he’s interested. He has a fantastic memory and LOVES museums. So going to our local museums seemed like a very good plan.

K2 was all about it, especially when I said he could plan the day. We started off at the Kenosha Public Museum then visited the Civil War Museum, grabbed Culver’s for lunch, toured the Dinosaur Discovery Museum for the second time in 48 hours, took a very long Harbor walk, annnnnnd then revisited the Kenosha Public Museum.

I’m a big fan of our local museums, especially the 3 we visited today. The Kenosha Public Museum is a natural history museum that brings to life the geological and sociological history of SE Wisconsin. There’s also special collections to visit and a kid’s area where play is encouraged. We’ve been to the museum approximately 1000000000 times, and each time I learn something new. The kiddos never get tired of the museum and they always leave with a new subject to research.

Today K2 decided to play curator to the visitors. The visitors started off slightly annoyed that this kid was lecturing them, but they quickly realized that K2 actually knows what he’s talking about. I had to reign him in when he said to an elderly gentleman “Um duh, EVERYONE knows this. You need to listen.” Fortunately the man had a sense of humor because that could have gotten awkward.

This particular visit K2 was very taken by the model of the deinonychus.It’s a life-sized model and there’s sensors somewhere because when you approach it the model roars at you. I asked K2 why he was so enamored with this model he’s seen a gazillion times. He was quiet for a minute and said, “His name isn’t deinonychus. His name is Mint the Velociraptor. Mint has a story. Mom, you need to blog about Mint!”

And here we are! According to K2:

Mint was born on July 4, 2006 to loving parents named Antoinette and Wilson. Unfortunately Mint’s parent’s died due to sudden extinction shortly after Mint’s birth (hatching?), but Mint survived. Mint worked closely with Presidents Grant, Lincoln, & Hayes to save the world time and time again. Mint is a time traveling velociraptor and right now he’s 11 years old.

K2 wants me to write a full story about Mint. I’ll just be ghostwriting for K2 because his material is solid gold. Stay tuned…


We then headed next door to the Civil War Museum. This is a phenomenal museum that focuses on the Upper Midwest’s contributions during the Civil War. It truly brings the Civil War to a local, human, and very personal level. When we entered the lobby K2 walked up to a bust of Abraham Lincoln, got down on his knees, and started bowing down to the statue. He looked like a mini Garth bowing down to Alice Cooper in “Wayne’s World.” He was having a big ‘ol fangirl moment.

Museum Admissions Person: “Ummmmm is he with you?”

Me: “I have no idea who that child is.”

Alas, I claimed my dramatic offspring and entered the collections area. It’s different than any type of museum I’ve ever been in. You’re walking through farms and towns and actually interact with the people’s stories being depicted. Seriously, the museum is filled with mannequins that “talk”. You stand at conversational distance from these “individuals” and their audio starts playing like you’re having a conversation. You sit on a train that feels like it’s moving and you hear their stories. You follow the characters from pre-war to reconstruction. There’s also a rotunda theater where you’re up close and personal with the events of the war.

I find the mannequins slightly creepy because they look so realistic. Like they could come alive at any moment. But they’re also very compelling and brings history to life.

K2 loves this museum because he’s obviously a HUGE fan of Abraham Lincoln. I find the museum somewhat emotionally challenging because it feels so real. But that’s the point. These were the realities of our country during that time, and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

After a quick Culver’s lunch, which was really a glorified snack because K2 was impatient to get to our next stop, we headed over to the Dinosaur Museum. It’s a small museum, composed of one gallery on the main floor and an education room in the basement. But it’s truly astounding. The Carthage College Department of Paleontology works out of there and there’s a nice collection of both reproduced and real fossils. It’s the perfect place to take little kids when they’re going through their stuffed T Rex phase, and the perfect place to take older kids who understand more of what they’re looking at and want to learn. As an added bonus to this second visit in as many days, we ran into my BFF there! She and I talked and gossiped and K2 wandered the exhibit, occasionally requesting to take a selfie with one fossil or another. It was a good time.

By this time K2 had mentioned that he wanted to see Mint again after a long Pokemon Go/Jurrassic World Alive hunting session. I’ll admit that I hoped he’d forget, but of course he did not.

We had to take more pics of Mint. Two obnoxious junior high kids walked by me and asked if I wanted to try hacking into the roar sensors with my phone. Ummmm that’s a negative, Ghostrider. K2 was not amused and wanted to lecture them on how inappropriate that was. It was time to go home.

I hoped so much that all of this would wear my K2 out, but sigh… No dice. Maybe I’ll tell him that Mint wants him to sleep until 7:00 am, or at least not wake up at 4:00. A girl can dream….

– LT

PS: The museum we didn’t make it to was the Kenosha History Center. It’s a great museum too and I fully intended a visit there as well. But, you know… Mint needed us.


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