My Real Life

July 16, 2012

Day Trip

First of all…the winner of our Caption Contest!  Thanks to the Random Number Generator at, the winner is:


Congrats, Carla!  I’ll put your iTunes card in the mail! 🙂

Now, onto today’s post!

One of the things I had hoped to do with the monkeys, this summer, was to take them on some day trips.

Things we can’t do during the school year.

So, on Friday, my friend, Jean, and I packed up our 6 kids, hopped in my truck, and headed to Philadelphia.

On the agenda?

The Please Touch Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary.

We packed a lunch, and followed the GPS directions to the Museum.

We found a parking lot, paid, ate our lunch in the back of the truck, and then headed out.

We walked around for awhile, following the directions from the parking attendant, but there seemed to be no museum anywhere.

So, we finally started asking people, and we were met with blank stares and confusion.

Finally, someone told us that the museum had moved and was a 15 minute drive away.

Jean and I laughed, turned around, headed back to the truck and rerouted the GPS.

Then we arrived.

None of us had ever been to the Please Touch Museum before, and when I posted on Facebook that we were thinking of going there, it got mixed reviews.

It exceeded expectations.

The kids loved it.

Even Monkey Girl, for whom it was probably a little young.

Here are some highlights, but please know these don’t even begin to cover everything at the museum.

At the Pit Stop, Tiny “drove” a race car.

Until, that is, he saw Baby Monkey playing pit crew, with the magnetic tires and car parts.

Then, he had to get in on the action.

In the Space room, Baby Monkey donned an astronaut outfit and headed into space.

Each themed area had a space for kids who were three and under, and as a result, Tiny got to harvest some potatoes,

Almost fell in a laundry basket,

and hung mittens for the three little kittens.

He sailed away with the Owl and the Pussycat,

and spun straw into gold.

Finally, he watched over while Monkey Girl napped, at the end of the rainbow, to the tune of some nursery rhyme lullabies.

They loved playing on the big piano, and as he was enchanted with the keys lighting up under his feet, Tiny needed to get down for some closer inspection.

At the end of our time there, we took a ride on the carousel.

Aside from the activities, one of my favorite parts of the museum were the displays of older toys.

Two, in particular, caught my attention because I owned both, as a kid, and played with them until they were completely worn out.

I play hard.

The first was the Family Tree House:

I loved that Tree House.  It went side-by-side with my Weeble tree house.

The other was the Smurf village:

Oh, how I loved my Smurfs.

So, when we finished with the museum, we headed to the penitentiary.

We were all starving, so despite the fact we had already had lunch, we decided all that exercise and movement at the museum had earned us “second lunch.”

Because, you know…we’re Hobbits.

Right down the street from the penitentiary is a phenomenal pizza place.  Seriously some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot, because I’m from Jersey.

At the penitentiary, we took the audio tour, which was self-guided, and I definitely suggest people take audio tours.  The kids listened, were quiet, and were fascinated.

Al Capone’s cell was fascinating to all of us.  Crazy that the guards would allow him to have such luxuries when he was such a bad guy.

Not everyone was thrilled with the prison, but it’s understandable, because while he had been allowed to run and play at the museum, he had to stay contained in the stroller at the penitentiary.

It was a great day of adventuring.

The boys all slept on the way home (I have been asked by Monkey in the Middle NOT to share the photo of them sleeping, and so I will not) and Jean and I got to relax and chat while we drove.

Good friends, good food, good entertainment, good day.


  1. I LOVED the ESP. Went one Saturday, while in Philly for the Aerosmith Concert & MAN THAT PLACE IS EEEERRRRIIIIIEEEEE! You can really feel the old spirits in that place. Don’t even want to imagine what people went thru there. I get the same feeling walking around Greystone at dusk – Only that is MUCH worse!

    Anyone who likes haunted houses – it is a huge production every year. Its not SCARY, but cool. Workers aren’t allowed to touch you, which is much better than any haunted house I have been in – (I HATE THAT). But, it is a lot of fun. Tickets have to be ordered ahead of time. I don’t recommend it for Middle or younger – unless they aren’t afraid of the dark. Who needs someone crawling in your bed because their scared because of going to a haunted house??? Just my thoughts.

    The Touch Museum must have cleaned up a bit when they moved. Everything was great when we went 8 years ago – but it does look cleaner & more open. A great day for the kids.

    Love to see how Tiny has transitioned from baby to toddler & now getting in on the action! So awesome!

    Comment by Carla Corcoran — July 16, 2012 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • I have to look into the whole Halloween thing for Rob and I. I LOVE that kind of stuff. As for Please Touch, it was clean, neat, well-organized, staff in every room, etc. As for Tiny…such a big boy now. 🙂

      Comment by abozza — July 16, 2012 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  2. Wish we could have coordinated to meet you guys there. We love the please touch museum and are due for a visit. Have never been to the ESP. I had the treehouse, too! 🙂

    Comment by erbear — July 16, 2012 @ 10:12 am | Reply

    • That would have been great, but I thought you were still at the beach. Next time! 🙂

      Comment by abozza — July 16, 2012 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  3. Had museums been like that when we were younger, I’d have prob absorbed/learned a lot more! Am I mistaken or is that the same type of keyboard from the movie Big? Love carousels and your shots of the penn.

    Comment by Helen — July 16, 2012 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

    • Helen, Exactly like the one in Big. So much fun!

      Comment by abozza — July 16, 2012 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  4. I just discovered your blog via Soule Mama. I like your non-sugar coating (the laundry post was very funny – how I can relate!) Funny, I lived in Philly for about 7 years (when I was in college and newly married) – several of them I lived relatively close to the Penitentiary, but never went. That was before they started re-doing it, I think. We’ve been back to visit Philly a few times since but still have not made it there. I really would like to show my kids – educational field trip (we’re homeschoolers!), but my daughter would probably dislike it. Too ‘scary’.

    Comment by Ellen — July 20, 2012 @ 9:02 am | Reply

    • Ellen, It’s interesting you say that…I thought for sure my 8 year old would be afraid, because he tends toward fear and anxiety. So, before we went, I showed him the website and explained it all. He thought it was the coolest thing ever and wants to go back sometime, without the baby, so we can explore more. 🙂 Maybe show her the website, first? Thanks for stopping by!

      Comment by abozza — July 20, 2012 @ 9:19 am | Reply

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