I really can't explain what a beautiful day it was. Maybe it's because out here in TX we have been in stifling heat for weeks, and today was literally 85 degrees. It was a shock to our systems; we were actually a little chilled this morning! But the weather couldn't have been better for our first nature walk of the year, especially going to the arboretum.
The girls brought all their gear: their colored pencils, sketchbooks, binoculars. I asked them to observe and sketch their favorite flowers. The girls enjoyed that exercise, but they spent the rest of the day in full story re-enactment mode! The arboretum had created a Beatrix Potter exhibit with different mini-homes for Peter Rabbit and all the other characters. Each home had a story written next to it, and the girls were fascinated as they read the chapter and walked through their little huts. Mr. McGregor's home was their favorite; his garden was full of real vegetables and there was a sign to try to keep Peter Rabbit away!
After a picnic lunch, we visited the Pioneer exhibit which has many different log cabin homes, churches, etc. for kids to explore and free play. The girls spent the rest of the afternoon pretending to be Laura, Carrie, and Mary from the Little House in the Prarie books and creating movies. They rode in a covered wagon, worked on their garden, went to school and the general store, climbed up into a treehouse to keep watch for wild animals, and did the chores for Ma and Pa. We are currently reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books at bedtime, so this was a wonderful way for them to make more connections with the story.
The girls were completely wiped out on our car ride home, but it was worth all the time. I would say it was worth the money too, but it only cost us $4 for all 4 of us to get in! The Arboretum offers admission for $1 in August because of the heat. Thankfully, we got to take advantage of the price without experiencing the heat today, so it was worth much more than the money!