A few weeks ago we visited some friends in Battle Creek, Michigan. I was a little leary of taking a 1-year-old on a 5-hour trip. But a few stops to stretch our legs and a few cat naps broke up the trip into manageable legs and we had very little resistance.
We didn’t make any set plans for the trip and just played it by ear because we’re casual vacationers like that:) So, what we ended up doing was perfect for us. A few museums, lots of swimming and plenty of downtime.
One of the days we were there, we went to a children’s museum. The children’s museum in Kalamazoo is amazing!!! Their learning centers are so incredible. There are sections that teach about the weather, braille and blind learning, alternative energy, night creatures, music, pretend news stations and a lot more. They even have a special section devoted to tiny kids, so that’s where Rayna and I spent a good chunk of time while daddy took Kayne on adventures through the building. It’s so impressive to me that this museum is completely free! If I lived there, we’d be going all the time.
They had little sections in the baby area
with different animals: amphibians,
butterflies, bugs, jungle animals, etc.
Little wooden farmyard.
Old-fashioned general store
Kayne was learning about the stages of a butterfly life cycle in school at the time.
They had these Eric Carle felt boards where he showed me the entire life cycle of a butterfly.
One of the other days we were there, we visited another museum that was right up my alley! It was a museum about Dr. Kellogg (whose brother is the name behind the Kellogg’s brand) and his research into health and fitness. He ran a huge sanitarium that was basically a cross between a medical center and a health resort. For a good read about some of his contraptions, read this
This contraption here was a leg vibrator thing
that was supposed to increase circulation in
the legs from sitting too long.
Here is a picture of the gym on-board the Titanic that was designed by Dr. Kellogg. Cool, huh?
Dr Kellogg believed in the healing powers of the sun and fresh air. So, he brought
the powers of the sun indoors with different light baths, much like today’s light boxes for SAD.
There are a few other historical buildings on-site as well including a one-room schoolhouse and a church.
But, we had to leave the Kellogg museum tour early due to some mini crabby person that needed a nap;) On our way out, I got to see a little weasel that had made a home under a museum outbuilding.
While in Battle Creek, we stayed in a decent motel and so for some of our downtime, we had fun using their pool and fitness equipment. We invited our friends to enjoy pool time too!
On our last night there, we had one last big group dinner with our friends at a Big Boy. We haven’t been to a Big Boy in probably 15-20 years. Even though Hubster had some really bad luck with his meal, but it was fun to go back in time a bit.
After dinner, we hit up the Battle Creek mall for a little while. I found some clothes and a bamboo wind chime at an import store. I also found the most adorable bedtime yoga book and a few other things at Barnes and Noble. I love having a meaningful bedtime routine for my kids and myself, and this book is absolutely perfect! Kayne loves going through the little vinyasa and the pictures are swoonworthy.
We had a great time just doing these easy things on a whim. The trees were changing color and the sun was out, so the timing was perfect. We planned the trip so we’d return on a Saturday and still have Sunday to rest before going back to work.