Payson fell in love with firefighting when he was two or three years old. When I heard about a firetruck museum here in Arizona I knew I’d take Payson there eventually. I had planned on going about 7 months ago but we just never got around to it!
While driving to the museum Payson was talking nonstop about the museum. He was fairly giddy with excitement. As we turned onto the very last road to get to the museum he asked when we were going to get there and I responded, “We’re here!”
Payson, being four, took this literally and when I passed the giant building which we were next to when I had said, “We’re here!” Payson started crying and asked through his giant tears, “Mom, why aren’t we going to the museum anymore?”
I stifled a giggle, realizing my mistake in implying that the giant building now behind us was the museum and told him, “Oh that big building wasn’t the museum, I meant this road is the road the museum is on! There is the museum!” And pointed out the museum we’d just pulled up to! He strained to see this building with a smile on his face.
I brought a stroller for Ember knowing she’d want to touch touch touch everything and guessing (correctly) that this museum wasn’t hands on. There is a child’s area with toys that is very much hands on but the rooms with all the firetrucks are chained off and they do not want you touching stuff! (With the exception of this firetruck they’re playing on, which I’ll talk about later)
Before going to the museum I read up about it online. I googled pictures and reviews and tried to get as much information as I could to see if it’s something kids really do like. I read online several comments from different people talking about how rude the staff there is. I was pleasantly surprised when the staff there were extremely nice! Not only did they treat me with kindness, they were super nice to my kids and talked to them directly. I LOVE when adults/staff tell my kids directly what is expected of them during visits! I work very hard at raising my kids to be respectful and following the rules set out for them and it reinforces my teaching so well to have the person in authority tell my children the same things! Love that. So anyway, every staff member I interacted with during our visit was very kind and attentive.
You can see in these pictures already there are things for the kids to do as well as see. There’s this giant firetruck the kids can climb all over. Both kids really enjoyed pretending to drive that big old truck and Payson then practiced his water hose shooting skills.
I try to balance what I allow my little kids to do and not do. I love to let them run free and experience as much as possible outside of a stroller. In this museum Ember was in the stroller for the first twenty minutes until we got to this truck. After this she didn’t sit in the stroller again until we were leaving. I would have liked to look at the firetrucks on display a little bit longer and would have been able to with her buckled into a stroller but I had to make sure her interest was kept so that the entire trip would go smoothly. I might take the older girls to the museum sometime (they love museums and were upset that they didn’t get to go) and maybe we’ll actually get to read some of the descriptions and information about the displays! (Ember probably would’ve been perfectly happy sitting in the stroller longer but watching her big brother running around freely was getting to her! ha)
Payson has a fireman outfit that looks just like the outfit in the middle of the next picture. He was really impressed that his fireman outfit looked like one a real fireman wore. He wasn’t really interested in the other fireman outfits. And it took some convincing that those mannequins wouldn’t move and/or hurt him. haha!
Ok, now time for the fun stuff, right?! The kids took off at a full sprint when I pointed the children’s section out to them from across the room. We spent long over an hour playing there. I was pretty bored after the first 50 minutes so took pictures every few minutes to occupy myself.
Payson refused to even give a second look to the fireman outfits (probably because he owns one) but little miss Ember loved playing dress up with them. She donned her hat and pretended to spray a fire hose. So cute.
It was only spying his sister enjoying the fireman hat that he put one on himself. And even then, the moment last about five seconds. Not that I care, of course. I just found it amusing when at home he loves dressing up in fireman stuff.
In between these many pictures were a whole lot of minutes passing by with the kids just playing their little hearts out. I played right along with them for 90% of the time! I led them in some pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, fireman imagination games. They were so cute! I took a video of it but my computer is being a poopy bum and not letting me edit it or post it. Which is a shame because it’s such a fun video.
This is when I was the most bored! They stood there coloring forEVER. I was just standing there (I even colored a couple pictures myself out of boredom! haha) and finally decided to entertain myself with some timer pictures. Payson seeing me sit on the floor to get on their level squatted himself. haha
I helped Ember slide down that pole many, many times, Each time was just the cutest thing!! I loved how she’d reach out for it (not even getting close to grabbing it) and then when I lifted her up she grab on and wrap her little legs around it and slide right down! So capable ♥
The only part I hated about the visit was the gift shop. Kids begging for every single thing in the place. There were lots of tears when we left empty handed, despite my promises that we’d get a firetruck toy at the dollar store. lol