Thursday, March 27, 2008

Choosing Between A Dancing Mouse and a Stuffed Bear

I remember when Kiyomi was turning six and had decided that the only place she wanted to celebrate her birthday was Chuck E. Cheese's. Not looking forward to an afternoon filled with screaming, the pinging of video games and hair matted together with a combination of punch and cotton candy (not to mention that stage show with the break-dancing Mr. Cheese) I bravely suggested an alternative, something more, well - educational.

How about a trip to the museum, where her and her friends could visit one of the exciting animal dioramas and come face to face with a life-sized bear? It sounded exciting to me, even though the bear was stuffed and the only thing even resembling a video game in the whole place was the ATM machine in the snack bar.

By the glaring looks I got I realized that majestic bear didn't stand a chance against a stageful of lesser creatures doing the cha-cha. She won that battle, but that didn't stop me from making it a point to take my kids to 'smart' destinations once in a while, and I wrote about my favorite ones in Los Angeles for Kango this week:

I’m familiar with the reactions: the sad eyes, the whining, the frantic efforts to hide in the laundry room. No, I’m not talking about your cat when faced with a vet visit, but your children when you mention that you’ll be taking them to ‘somewhere educational.’

Sure, you’ll get more cheers for Chuck E. Cheese’s, but sometimes it’s nice to take the kids somewhere that teaches them more than how quickly a roll of quarters can disappear when you’re mesmerized by a large waltzing mouse. Here are some of my favorite ‘smart’ destinations in Los Angeles. I’ll bet they’ll forget all about that dancing rodent...Read More...

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