I have this fantastic book called “子どもとでかける東京あそび場ガイド” (Going out with kids in Tokyo guide). It has lots of places that are great for kids with information about getting there, cost, what aged kids it’s good for, how baby-friendly it is, and details about the activities. It includes everything from huge parks, amusement parks, and museums. Quite a few of the places in it are free. We’ve found lots of fun things to do from this book. For the past few weeks, Gaku and I have been talking about going to a water museum. Gaku likes the picture of a kid standing inside a giant bubble, and really wants to go do that.
Today I got out the book and was looking at it. He decided that he wanted to go to the Fire Fighting Museum instead, because there’s a picture of a kid in a helicopter. He didn’t care about everything else; he just wanted to ride in the helicopter. So just in time for lunch, I finally managed to get ready to go. I asked Gaku what we should do for lunch and his answer was “hamburgers” meaning McDonalds. I hesitated and said okay. On the way we stopped to look at them tearing down the NTT company dormitories. We spent about 10-15 minutes watching. By then we were all getting pretty hungry, so when we walked past an Indian restaurant we’ve been to before, Gaku said he wanted to go there. I asked him if he was sure and he said yes, so we went in. Just as we were getting ready to order, he said he didn’t want to eat there, he wanted “potatoes” which is how he usually refers to McDonalds. I said too bad. He didn’t complain.
So when we finally got to the museum, the very first thing we had to do was go to the fifth floor roof and ride the helicopter. Gaku had lots of fun playing with all the knobs, levers and buttons. He spent a lot of time there, but there were some more kids coming so I suggested we go check out some other stuff.
Hana spent most of her time chilling in the buggy, but she did sit in the helicopter for just a few minutes!
Gaku also really liked the fake fire engine that he could get into. He put on the hat and spent over 30 minutes going in and out of the truck, and pretending to drive it to a fire.
When I finally suggested it was time to leave the museum, Gaku said he wanted to ride the helicopter again. I was about to protest, but I thought what the heck. It’s his afternoon out. So we went back to the helicopter again. When we got there, there were no kids, but it seemed like as soon as we got out there about 5 kids came out. It’s a big enough helicopter (3 seats in the front and a bench in the back). One kid was “waiting”. I told her to go ahead and join him. I knew he was going to be in there a while and I wasn’t going to tell him to get out so another kid could get in, not when they could all easily fit in at the same time. He was having a great time, pretending to be Buzz Lightyear (from Toy Story – last week we rented the Buzz Lightyear movie on DVD and he’s completely obsessed with it).
And of course no weekend day out is complete without some kind of treat. So the lure to get him out of the museum peacefully today was cake. We saw a Starbucks and I figured they’d have something. So he had a milk and ate half a donut – the top half with all the chocolate. Within five minutes of leaving Starbucks (about 5:30), he was out like a light and hasn’t woken up yet (midnight now).
What a fun day! And all for just the cost of lunch, Starbucks and train fare.
“To Infinity and Beyond!!” – Buzz Lightyear