The weekend before last we babysat our nieces, so we had to figure out what to do with 3 little girls ages 7, 3, and 2 for 36 hours. It was cold, cloudy, and threatening rain, so we thought -- Great day to take the girls outside! We packed a picnic lunch and headed off to Columbia State Historic Park.
We started off the day by getting totally lost and adding a good 30 minutes on to the drive. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother again for the portable DVD player. We watched the Leap Frog Letter Factory during the drive, so it was highly educational. (Although I have now linked to this DVD in every post on my blog to date, I promise I am not earning a commission from Leap Frog).
It was about an hour long drive, longer than I expected, but we all survived. It was nice to get out and drive through the foothills. This was always one of my favorite things to do growing up in Modesto. When we got to Columbia State Historic Park, the weather had just started to get cold and dreary, but we had a great time anyway.
The first attraction was a big mound of rocks. Well, I guess they were more like boulders. The oldest cousin had a great time climbing on these with her uncle, despite the rowdy teenagers in the area.
We walked around the town and explored the shops. There was a really nice museum with some great interactives in the back. The girls dressed up in old west garb. Then they built a brick wall, and pretended to do laundry in a wash basin. The museum, parking, and shops were all free, so it is really a great deal!
Of course, the most fun we had was completely by accident and at the end of the day. We wanted to get going, but the girls wanted to stay. I said we could play for just a little longer and explore the barn structures we could see from across the road. The girls weren't that interested in the barns, but they didn't want to sit in the car for another 45 minutes, so they humored me. It turned out to be a whole town of wooden structures. We had the whole place to ourselves for a good 15 minutes. I didn't take enough photos, of course! We ended up pretending to be living in the different houses, having a general store and post office. The 6 year old lead the way on what we would all pretend and the rest of us just went along. It was great fun until another family came to butt in on our fun. Oh well, we needed to get on the road anyway.
I highly recommend a trip or two to Columbia SHP!