Friday, March 17, 2017

Audubon Insectarium

While in New Orleans we visited the Audubon Insectarium. It's a small insect zoo located inside the US Customs House, around the corner from the Audubon Aquarium. Since it is a government building you have to go through a metal detector and can't bring in any knives or weapons. I'm glad I saw that on their website before we went so the boys could leave their pocketknives in the car!

Once inside you are in a long hallway with insect displays down the middle. Branching off to each sides are various rooms with different displays. One room is very dark and simulates what it is like if you lived underground, complete with giant replica bugs.

This is the roach house. There are roaches all over. You can actually go on their website and watch the roach webcams. I sure don't want to watch a bunch of roaches but some people most like to!

You can even stick your head inside and get an up close look at the roaches.

Near the back they have the insect kitchen. Here they have treats baked with insects inside that you can sample.
King cake with bugs. I can't remember what was in there.

Chocolate chip cookies with crickets.

Just gross!

Billy was the only one brave enough to try the bugs. In one section you could touch a millipede.

 And there was also a love bug!

Besides just looking at bugs there were plenty of signs around telling the history of bugs and all about the bugs. It was entertaining while being educational.

I thought these displays were very cool.

They also have a short 4d movie for the kids. The very end is the butterfly habitat. you can walk through and watch all the butterflies eating and flying around. It's ok if they land on you, but you can't pick them up or touch them. They also had a large room with lots of cocoons where you could watch the butterflies coming out. 

In all we enjoyed our visit. We learned a lot about bugs and the kids liked seeing all the different kinds from around the world!
Check them out here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

USS Alabama Battleship

On our way to Mississippi we stopped to visit the USS Alabama Battleship which is in Mobile, AL. We had been a few years ago but Junior and Bri didn't remember a lot of it. In addition to the battleship there is also a submarine you can go in, and a museum with a lot of old planes and helicopters in it. 
The battleship itself is huge! When you go in they give you a tour guide which outlines 3 different tour routes. One takes you down below, one takes you around the middle, and the last one takes you all the way to the very top. It is a LOT of walking and climbing up and down ladders.

This is the outside. I couldn't even fit the whole thing in my frame without getting far away!

All 3 tours took us about 3 hours total. We started by watching the 20 minute video about the ship. It has guys who were actually stationed on the ship talk about what it was like to live on it, and about one of the major battles they were in. I would definitely recommend seeing the video first, because then later on you can see the places they were talking about. The kids would be like 'Hey, this is where that guy was talking about when.....' You get to see the engine room, and the ammunition room where they stored all the ammo. It was cool to see the chutes that they put the ammo in to send it up to the top decks.

Huge missiles! 

The ship was really like a floating city. They had a doctor and dentist, cobbler, laundry, tool maker, post office, store, a huge kitchen complete with a bunch of storerooms, and more. 
On the deck you could really see how big the guns are!

After the battleship we went to tour the submarine. It is very small and cramped. If you are claustrophobic I would not recommend going in there! 

It was amazing to see all the dials and instruments they had on the submarine. 

Some of the sailors slept right over the torpedoes! Their beds folded down out of the wall.

You can definitely spend a whole day here if you love old planes and boats. There are a lot of memorials throughout the grounds that we didnt look at because it was cold out. At the minimum you need 3-4 hours to see the battleship, submarine, and museum. You can check out their website here. If you are in the area this is a great way to spend the day!