The Polar Vortex is Returning: Stay Warm in a Planetarium

Last weekend the high temperature around here was 31 degrees. With the ice and wind, we just knew we couldn’t drag the brood outside. Most people with young children were hunkered down in a movie theater learning more about the wonderful world of Legos. But we have a 10 month old, and although Wes is flexible, bringing him to a movie would be downright loopy.

So we decided to do the baby-friendly version of the movie theater…the planetarium. The community college near us has a great program for young children called One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure. If your children are a bit older, there are great options like The Stars in My Backyard and the Enchanted Reef.

First of all, I love that the place is clean. You don’t get the movie theater gross out effect at this place. You also don’t feel like you have to plug up your kids’ ears as the stereo surround sound pummels your senses. The volume is appropriate and the pacing is slow, but engaging. Basically you can relax enough to pretend that you really are outside, on just another summer night, gazing up at the stars.

And this brings me to my real point. I don’t know that much about the stars. I have to admit I am constantly whipping out my Star Walk app around the campfire because I truly want to know about all that beautiful stuff up there, but (you know) it’s complicated…and who has the time to become an amateur astronomer?

I’m definitely going to make an effort (to learn a bit, not become an astronomer). I want to be able to sit around a campfire and tell my boys about some constellations without having to whip out my technology. With the Polar Vortex coming back around, I may have some time to sharpen my stargazing chops at the local planetarium.

Stay warm.

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