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Mini Adventure: California State Railroad Museum

“We’re going on an adventure!” Allison said as she opened the door to the girl’s room on a Saturday morning. Still a little sleepy from their nap the girls looked at us and smiled. Olivia started bouncing in her bed and Meghan pointed at us repeating her current favorite phrase “Dada dada dada”.

After getting the girls dressed and shoes, we gave them a quick snack/lunch and had Olivia get the jackets. It was time to “Go inna car!” as Olivia says. We loaded up and headed downtown to Old Sacramento, found a place to park and walked over to our destination, the California State Railroad Museum.

This was Olivia and Meghan’s first time at the museum and the first in probably about 20 years for me. I had vague memories of my mom taking my brother Taylor and me there, especially during the summers. I know that I hadn’t been back since we moved away from Sacramento, so I was also excited. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for ages 6-17. We waited in line got our tickets and prepared to see some old trains! Olivia could not contain her excitement the first time we saw one of the huge locomotives. We peeked into some dining cars the museum had staged and OJ shouted, “It’s a tea party!”

As we walked through the museum we started hearing some music, as we followed the sounds, we discovered a band playing some old-timey music. Obviously Olivia had to have a dance party while Meghan took in the sights from the comfort of the stroller. We learned about the different types of trains, including a giant snowplow! Next to the snowplow train, there was this cool little area for kids. They had all of these little foam squares meant to represent snow, and what seemed like a large scale erector set.

The idea of the play area was for the kids to design a solution for clearing snow off of train tracks. It was mostly kids stacking the blocks and then just knocking them over. Olivia had a blast! We let her run around and interact with the other kids. I pulled Meghan out of the stroller and she liked playing with the blocks but preferred to just run around the big open space. After a grand total of an hour and a half in the museum, it was time for ice cream! We walked down to the main block of Old Sacramento and sat on a little bench and people watched and ate our delicious ice cream. Then it was time to go. Little mini adventure over!

I know that this might just seem like a little “Slice of Life” vlog/blog and doesn’t really fit a niche of stellar content, but I wanted to share this with you for a specific reason.

We have a phrase in our family, “Experiences over things”. What this means is that it’s always better to spend your money on experiences with your kids, rather than buying them things. This trip perfectly illustrates how simple that can be. It wasn’t a grand adventure like our Pismo trip was, but it was still an adventure. Whenever my parents come pick the girls up, or we are going to a new place, we always call it an adventure.

It doesn’t need to be expensive, or grand to be an Adventure.

Living in Sacramento has been a bit of an adjustment for us, for most of my life I’ve lived in areas where the winters are mild, I’m pretty sure we had a few 80° Christmas days. In Sacramento a week of rain isn’t unheard of, so the girls end up staying inside most days. We try to break up the monotony by going on little adventures whenever we can. Sometimes its just a walk to get some frozen yogurt, or going to the store for some normal groceries.

The important thing is to let them experience the world, and interact with it.

What things do you do to give your children a sense of adventure? Let us know down in the comments!

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