interactive neighborhood for kids

This past weekend, with the soggy weather and James busy running his latest CrossFit event, I knew James Michael needed some sort of entertainment. My mom had mentioned Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) in my hometown for weeks, and James Michael finally got a chance to check out this hands-on museum, which my parents’ old neighbor dreamed up several years ago.

It’s set up like a real neighborhood with areas for a hospital, dentist, cafe, bank, grocery store, post office, veterinarian–most any business crucial to run a town.

We had only planned to stay about an hour, so as not to interfere with nap time, but JM had such a blast that we stayed more than two hours.

As the name implies, the museum is place where there’s no need for saying “don’t touch” or “put that back.” JM had free reign of everything he could get his hands on. He only needed help getting in the 1927 City of Gainesville Firetruck, Police ATV and jungle gym.

James Michael’s latest craze has been cars. He loves saying the word, pointing them out when he sees one and playing in them (and Pop has accommodated every car-playing request).

Photo Aug 16, 2 48 34 PM

Such a cool cat in the ATV, which I know reminds him of James’ motorcycle.

Photo Aug 16, 3 02 24 PM

I hate that the picture is so blurry, but he loved the grocery store. Not because of all the fake groceries, but because of the miniature grocery buggies. Of course, in true JM fashion, he thought it best to push several buggies around “town” instead of browsing the aisles.

Photo Aug 16, 3 23 41 PM

Photo Aug 16, 3 01 19 PM

Photo Aug 16, 3 00 25 PM

Great grandma illustrated how to milk a cow–and water actually squirted into the bucket. Surprisingly, this was the one thing in the whole museum JM didn’t want to touch!

Photo Aug 16, 2 49 41 PM

Photo Aug 16, 2 46 19 PM

JM also is fascinated with airplanes. He points to them in the sky, and any time he hears one, even if he’s indoors, he stops dead in his tracks to listen. It was no surprise he loved the Grandpappy airplane exhibit.

Photo Aug 16, 3 14 18 PM

Little Beau fared wonderfully in the double stroller. When he got hungry, I remembered a small room I had seen called the nursing room so I took him back there thinking it was so thoughtful of the museum to offer that. But as soon as I got to, the room, I had to laugh at myself. The room was part of the neighborhood and filled with little baby dolls and cribs and bottles!

You may also like: