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December Weekend Fun

Did you know there is a Thomas the Train exhibit currently underway at the Boston Museum of Science? 2/5 of the science family is planning to be there, because the other 3/5s of us are heading off to Florida for the National Scholastic Chess Tournament. Why go to Florida to play chess? I am not really sure, to be honest, but I am not the one playing chess. I am merely the chaperone for two highly competitive, fully engaged elementary school aged boys who are going to play chess. They say chess is good for everyone to play, kids and adults alike, and that it helps with cognition and brain plasticity and all the good things that you want your brain to keep doing (side note: check out my friend’s company at Common Sense Chess if you want to get more involved in chess instruction).

But, the train exhibit. It turns out that trains have a long and rich history in this country (and many other countries too, to be honest), and the train exhibit talks a little bit about their history and a lot about their engineering and how they work. Also, making train models is a very involved craft process, and there are opportunities to learn more about that as well. I don’t think they are going to answer some of my pressing questions, which tend towards the practical: Why is the MBTA late so often? Why are even the fastest trains in this country so much slower than fast trains in Europe? What would it take to upgrade the tracks and equipment to enable such speed to occur? And so on…

During the rest of the weekend, you may want to check out any of the abundant light shows that are in the area. They are in Boston, Western Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and range from free shows to shows that cost quite a bit of money. Did you know that the tradition of Christmas lights only became popular in the early 20th century? Before then, the logistics of powering so many lights for such extended periods of time made such an idea cost prohibitive.

Check out the links below for more information about Christmas lights:

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