Michael had very sweetly asked if we could pretty please go to the Children's museum soon. We agreed we'd go sometime during March break, and today was the day.
Since we expected to March Break to be busy, we decided to go for opening and it was good that we did because this meant we could just walk in and play pretty much wherever we wanted - something that became impossible later.
It was our first visit to this museum post-pandemic and it's clear that the museum curators believe that covid is primarily transmitted via fomites because pretty much all of the many things that you used to be able to touch and interact with are gone.
There were many empty shelves in empty rooms. Empty tents. The little Japanese house with tatami mat is devoid of furniture and no longer has origami papers out to try. The marketplace at least still had money and fake food and the construction area seemed pretty similar to before but the fountain was devoid of water, the camel moved out into the main area. No more tortilla making station with playdough, no spices, no chess and worst of all from the kids' perspective - the crane on the boat was out of commission. The lighting effects in the theatre were broken, too. It was still fun to visit, but much less engaging. I had been toying with upgrading our tickets to a membership since it only takes two or three visits to make that worth it but thought better of that idea.
I had a meeting scheduled while we were there, so I headed out to the parking lot to jump on my call and realized there was a really long line to get into the children's part and there was no way I was getting back in. By the time my call was done the others felt they had exhausted the entertainment of that area and were ready to move elsewhere so we decided to check out the special exhibit.
Right now it's an exhibit on children's television. I found it quite interesting to see the various artifacts but the kids disagreed - "it's just a bunch of screens!"
So we moved on. The indigenous hall was not exciting either, although Elizabeth gleefully pointed out the "lice combs" lol. Amelia and Michael could have spent much longer at the random station set up to "dig for dinosaur bones" upstairs though, and all of them felt we should have gone up and down more escalators.
Finally we went to visit the Canada Hall. The new version opened in 2018 and we were underwhelmed then too, but in the intervening years I had apparently completely forgotten about how terrible the new version is. It's still terrible. Surprisingly, we apparently never took any pictures of the old Canada hall, but there used to be a little room setup as an old one room school house. This exhibit has been reduced to a photo of a school house with a few artifacts behind glass. The entire thing was just glass case after glass case of artifacts and words. The kids barely paused to glance at the various stuff, although Michael quite liked the miniature buffalo jumping off a cliff. The church is still there. We probably paused there the longest looking over various things.
Anyway, I don't know what the point of changing this was but we sure won't be going here regularly and I wouldn't say it's a must see for visitors anymore either.