Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Field Trip: Pepsi Family Center

My brother and co-blogger, Ridge, visited my family for Labor Day weekend.  We took day trips to local historical attractions.  One day we checked out the Pepsi Family Center at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina.  It was alot of fun and I'd like to go back when the kids are older.  When we were in one room, I said that I was all Epcot-jaded and I still thought it was awesome.  Read on and let me know what you think but something interactive like this would be great at the American Pavilion.

You start by checking in at the desk, getting a brief overview of the exhibit, and then you are issued a card which you activate at one of four sensors on the wall.  Then you enter the time machine, taking you back to 1835.  This part scared my girls, especially when we left through the time machine, but older kids would have fun with all the swirling lights and video.

Once we entered the town in 1835, we were instructed to gather at the clock tower.  There we watched a video by the mayor telling us a bit about his town and highlighting the places where we would be "working."  There was a house with a kitchen and a quilting room, a general store, a printer, a ship and turpentine distillery.  

We started in the kitchen, since it was a scavenger hunt and the most 3 year-old friendly.  There, the cook, a slave woman, appeared on the screen and told us about cooking in her time.  Then we helped her gather ingredients for two recipes, or receipts, as she called them.  As she asked for an item, we all ran around the room looking for it.  Once we located the ingredient, Tink touched it on a screen or pushed the button next to it.  Then it appeared on the table in the center of the room.  Once we found them all, the cook showed us how to make the dish.  We "made" ice cream and a fish pie.

Ridge tried his hand at typesetting while Andy and Tink helped the proprietor of the general store find items for a customer's order.

The ship had 10 or so duties and would be great for a group.  Andy and Ridge were assigned as Captain and First Mate.  They opened a few stations for me so I could play wherever I liked.  The girls both thought 'whack-a-mole' was hysterical.  It was supposed to be protecting the ships food supply from rats, but it was just the silly and fun arcade game.

We passed on the quilting exhibit and making turpentine.  Ridge really wanted to do that last one but we ran out of time since we wanted one quick walk around the gardens before it all closed for the day.  


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