UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.
We have a family membership to the Witte and visit regularly, but earlier this summer we got a special treat—a blogger meetup at the Witte so we could experience these exhibits with our friends and all our kids playing in the museum together. Also, the Witte gave each blogger a set of four passes for free admission. Several bloggers have already given away their passes this summer: Alamo City Moms Blog, My Tots Travel, Champagne Taste Beer Budget, and Lone Star Signers; even though their giveaways are over, it’s still fun to see their photos and read their impressions. I’m giving away my four free passes this week; to enter, please leave a comment below, no later than August 6, 2014, to share why you want to visit the Witte. I will pick a winner and send notice by email on August 7.
The Witte Museum’s Summer of the Body is an opportunity for kids to learn how to stay healthy, and it’s also a lot of fun.
On our first visit to the H-E-B Body Adventure, F.T. (my seven-year-old son) seemed surprised by how much it had changed. We had spent many happy hours at old Science Treehouse, with its assortment of simple machines, green technology demonstrations, and engineering toys. The H-E-B Body Adventure focuses on life sciences, but I know the Witte is still committed to young engineers and physical scientists, too, through events like Build It! (see this earlier post), traveling exhibits (like Alien Worlds and Androids, in this post) and new permanent exhibits, including a water resources center, that will emerge from the Witte’s ongoing major transformation; see “Witte Museum Soon To Be Unrecognizable”, Jack Morgan, Texas Public Radio, July 25, 2014; “Witte Museum Part 2: The Timeline For Renovations”, Jack Morgan, Texas Public Radio, July 28, 2014. Note: for two years, starting September 2, the Witte’s main entrance will move to the H-E-B Body Adventure.
Once F.T. got over his surprise, the new exhibits quickly won him over. They are visual, interactive, and provide various levels of challenge. The exhibits brought out his independence and confidence, and their lessons have stuck with him.
The first step is getting a Power Pass. F.T. likes to type in his own name and choose a buddy, a regular person who has recorded video clips to help guide you through the adventure. The Power Pass will collect data from each station; at the end of your visit, you can print out a personalized report.
The first floor has an exercise theme. You can see your heartbeat, measure your stride, raise your body heat on the Move It game floor, and take a virtual cycle ride down the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River. The pulleys are back, and the tractor seats have a fresh coat of paint. It’s a great place for kids to learn and burn energy at the same time.
The second floor’s theme is healthy eating. You can jump on a stair climber to find out how long it takes to burn off a cup of sugary soda.
F.T.’s favorite station is “Build a Balanced Meal”—he is still trying to beat this game.
If you don’t feed your buddy a balanced meal, by putting virtual foods on a plate, then he or she can’t walk all the way down the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk. The virtual walk includes local landmarks, such as F.I.S.H.
The “Build a Balanced Meal” game made an impression. At home, while drinking a glass of milk and eating a couple of hot dogs with buns, F.T. asked:
“Is this a balanced meal?”
“No,” I said. “You still need your fruits and veggies.”
So I fixed him a bowl of strawberries. He smiled with satisfaction and ate the berries, knowing that he was indeed eating a balanced meal.
The rooftop has calming bells and windchimes, sending soothing sounds over Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio River.
The basement of the Treehouse has a demonstration kitchen. For kids age three and younger, there is a mini playground with giant fruits and veggies for climbing and sliding.
We’ll be coming back to the H-E-B Body Adventure many times, I’m sure.
The H-E-B Body Adventure is a permanent exhibit in the treehouse, and Grossology will be at the Witte through November 3, 2014. To enter to win a four-pack of passes for museum admission, leave a comment no later than August 6, 2014; tell us what you are looking forward to seeing at the Witte. I will randomly choose a winner and send a notice by email on August 7; once I have the winner’s address, I will send the passes by first class mail.
Disclosure: The Witte Museum hosted my friends, our kids, and me at the H-E-B Body Adventure and Grossology for free, and gave each blogger (including me) a four-pack of passes to the museum to give away to our readers.