Educator Open House Season in San Diego

Educator Open House Season is in full-swing here in San Diego. (Non-local friends, I'm sure your cities have something similar. You're just going to have to do a little research to find them.) But if you're teaching or administrator-ing in San Diego, I'm going to make it easy for you: There are three open houses coming up in the next three weeks and they are all free to attend. First up, Wednesday, October 15 at The San Diego Museum of Art; followed by Thursday, October 23 at the The New Children's Museum; and finally, Thursday, October 30 at Mingei International Museum.

Each of these events requires advanced registration. So if you'd like to go, make sure to RSVP at least a day ahead.


Museum Passes at San Diego Public Library

One of the first things I do when I move to a new city is sign up for a library card.

I didn't grow up an avid reader, but I've grown into the role as I've gotten older. And my local public library helps make my reading hobby more sustainable.

Anyway, as a proud library card holder, I was thrilled to discover that SDPL's Central location downtown has family passes to several local museums (like this one and this one and this one) to "check out." 

That's genius.

For more information on SDPL's "Check It Out" Family Museum Pass program, head here.


It's That Time of Year Again: Kids Free in October

It's that time of year again! Time for Kids Free in October in San Diego.

During the month of October, kids will receive free admission to participating museums all over San Diego County when an adult buys a ticket. This promotion will make visiting a museum much much much more manageable for families and that's why I'm talking about it this week.

(Climbing up onto my platform...)

Everyone knows that public schools have been a bit down on their luck lately. Not all schools, surely, but many of them. There simply isn't enough money to fund fun science experiments or pay for proper art teachers or buy enough soccer balls. Sure, we can all grumble about the state of public schooling and about the government or we can do something about it. Donating a little time or money or a few books or supplies to a local school will help. Concurrently, families can also start tapping into the arts and cultural opportunities available to us here in San Diego.

Here's how to start: Starting on Wednesday, for the next 31 days museums in San Diego County will be much more cost effective to visit. Adults can take up to two children per paid ticket to theNat and learn about dinosaurs first hand, then head to the library and a check out a book about something they saw. We can use this opportunity to peak kids' curiosity and show them that science isn't boring. And if dinosaurs aren't their thing, how about a family field trip to the Fleet Science Center. Or a trip to Mingei International Museum to learn about the art, history, and science of surf board design. 

No tests. No quizzes. Just exploring for the sake of exploring.

(Climbing down off my platform...)

There are over 30 museums, aquariums, zoos, gardens, and cultural organizations participating in this year's Kids Free in October promotion and this presents a truly awesome opportunity. We can go check out something we've never seen before. We can revisit an old favorite. Please, let's make time to do this. Schools can't shoulder the burden alone, which is why so many non-profits in San Diego County are here to help. We should take advantage of them.

I promise you, they like it.

Photo source.


Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum

Annnnnnd I'm back!

Miss me?

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus. I spent the summer living it up and enjoying some wonderful cultural experiences. I just didn't blog about them. Selfish, I know. Also, I'm feeling the tide shifting here on The Museum Scout. I think it's time for me to take this blog in a slightly different direction. I will continue to post about exhibits and events (case in point below), but I'm hoping to incorporate some other interests, too.

This week I'm sticking to my roots and talking about Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum. But first, I'd like to tell you a little side story.

For three years I lead a Montessori-based classroom of 3, 4, and 5 year olds. It was a totally awesome, and a totally overwhelming experience. Preschool is this incredibly important time in a person's life. Kids that age pick up a lot. They continue developing their personalities and pick up both good and bad habits. They are, in short, little sponges. I will tell you that I am not the strictest-Montessorian, but I do believe that Montessori-based early childhood education can be beneficial. In fact, many of my most favorite people went to Montessori schools as kids.

As a preschool teacher, I developed my own philosophy about education and about my role as a teacher. One of the things that was important to me was giving my students the freedom to make a mess. It was okay to make a physical mess with art supplies and of your clothes and with blocks provided you stayed in the block corner. It was equally okay to commit a social faux pax on occasion and say something you shouldn't or do something you shouldn't do. Messes were okay in our room, provided that we also took part in cleaning them up and apologizing, when necessary.

(A little PSA: Please don't send your kids to preschool in their fanciest clothes if you prefer their outfits don't get messy. They will. And if they don't, it means that your kids aren't having nearly as much fun at school as they should have. At the end of the day, on a good day, we were covered in paint and probably food, too. That's just what happens when you're encouraged to prepare your own snack, play, paint, and consume two meals at school.)

Which leads me back to the event this weekend at NCM. This Family Mess Fest thing is right up my alley because it is an event where messes are not only encouraged, but celebrated. And when you give kids the chance to make a mess, brilliance often emerges.

So if you're around this Saturday and you aren't watching college football (Oh, Wolverines, please get your act together), please head to NCM and support this wonderful Museum and its equally wonderful event. The more folks who show up, the more it encourages the Museum to develop and host more family-friendly events.

For more information on Family Mess Fest at The New Children's Museum, head here.

Photo courtesy of The New Children's Museum.


La Dolce Vita: Roman Holiday at SDMA

Nothing epitomizes Summer like a movie night under the stars. And when that movie is Roman Holiday and it's being shown in the sculpture garden at The San Diego Museum of Art, life is good. The show starts at 8:00pm on Monday, August 11. And from what I can tell, it will be one of the last of the season. So pack a picnic (suggestions here), get out there and celebrate Summer 2014 before it's too late.


P.S. I Grew This.

Breaking news: We have cucumbers.

This is revolutionary. I planted something and it actually grew. Exclamation point. Exclamation point.

Sadly, we lost a few along the way, but I'm happy to report that some of the things I planted this Spring have survived. And this is no small feat, my friends, because I have a very black thumb. It stems from my aversion to doing the appropriate amount of research before I start a project (like a garden). And also from neglect. I have the tendency to forget to water and to properly tend to my plants.

Last year things did not go this well. Tree rats ate the lettuce. Seeds never sprouted. We left for two weeks and the tomato plants shriveled and died.

In other words, I used to be a bad mother.

Case in point:

But! I'm making progress. Fingers crossed that our little raised bed will continue to flourish because it is totally awesome to look out the window and see green things growing. Hopefully they'll be some pickle making in my future...

Speaking of gardens, Summer is great time to visit a local garden. The San Diego Botanic Garden offers free admission the first Tuesday of every month (August 5) and it stays open late on Thursday evenings until 8:00pm through Labor Day. And given this drought, now might be a very good time to stop by The Water Conservation Garden and learn a thing or two. Every Saturday morning, there is a free guided tour at 10:30am. And for the very brave, the Garden is hosting a cheese making workshop next month. (Fromage!) Or how about a trip to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park? They have koi! You could go and then make these and use up all those toilet paper rolls you've been hoarding.

P.S. I'm on the look out for a local gardening class. Remedial courses, preferred. Holler if you have a suggestion.


Movie Night on the Midway

Two weeks in and summer is in full swing 'round here. There are so many fun things happening in San Diego this summer, including this week's event, Movie Night on the Midway.

Here's the deal: This Thursday, July 3, you are invited to spread out your picnic blankets and folding chairs on the deck of the USS Midway Museum and be treated to a showing of Disney's The Lone Ranger. Doors will open at 7:00pm and the show will start at 8:00pm. It's all part of the Summer Movies in the Park series. For those folks who are new to the area (myself included), all summer long different parks throughout the county will take turns showing family-friendly movies. (More information here.) Thursday's event is the first of two movie nights on the Midway. (Planes will be shown on Friday, August 22.) But! From what I hear, the movie nights on the Midway are particularly pop-u-lar, so show up early and be prepared to hang out in line for a while. (Consider yourself warned.) And feel free to bring snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. (Just, please, no alcohol or glass bottles.)

Movie Night on the Midway is the best of what summer has to offer here in San Diego. And I can't think of a single place I'd rather be.
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