American Swedish Institute

We knew we had to get out when we heard we were going to have some nice weather coming our way, so we figured we might as well do something new.  I have a list of supposedly family-friendly places, so for this outing we chose the American Swedish Institute.  The website showed at least one kid-friendly exhibit and a place to eat, so we figured, why not?

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The ASI is contemporary and modern, while the Turnblad Mansion is historic and stately. Thanks to renovations, all floors of the mansion are easily accessible whether you have a wheelchair or in our case a giant stroller.  We were also thrilled to see that there weren’t many people when we arrived.

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The main exhibit while we were there was Nobel Creations which featured all kinds of displays all inspired by Nobel Laureates.  Admittedly, we were more interested in the mansion itself, but some of the exhibits were intriguing.

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It was definitely the ideal setting for two small kiddos. Just a handful of visitors (in the beginning) and we didn’t have to worry about bumping into anything or toddlers getting into too much trouble.  They were both fairly agreeable and let us wander around.  I may have been a tad obsessed with the fireplaces.

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There was also the most beautiful stained glass window.

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They also had a table set up featuring the Nobel porcelain, which was as refined as one would expect if they were to attend such a dinner.

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There was so much beautiful detailing everywhere, and we realized we had actually missed a few rooms, so we’ll have to go back again. I’ve gotten used to having to visit places multiple times now, though. Kids are just kind of distracting, so we aren’t always able to spend as much time perusing.

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The kids started getting squirmy right as we reached the third floor, which was thankfully where the child friendly exhibit was located.  We were the only ones there with kids, so we had the run of the place, which was also really nice.

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Josh was also able to get some of the wiggles out.  Museums tend to make him fidgety. 😉

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Alas, after setting munchkins free, they did not wish to be confined again.  We let them roam for a bit, but more visitors were arriving and we began to have trouble keeping our young hooligans from getting underfoot.

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We decided to finish up our tour and head down to the cafe, where we got several looks from other patrons and our server acted somewhat surprised that we would be staying.  Thankfully I had some snacks to keep the kiddos busy, but overall they were really well behaved.  Another thing you get used to as a parent, though, is receiving the stink-eye now and then.  I’m not going to let other people stop me from introducing our kids to new experiences or keep Josh and I from having a good time.  We always try to be good patrons and clean up after our kids and not disturb others, so when the kids did start to get a bit loud, I took them outside to run around while Josh took care of our bill.  I do wish we lived in a country where overall children weren’t seen as such a nuisance, though.

Anyhoo, overall it was a fun little excursion and we’re looking forward to more outings this summer.  I’m hoping we can hit up some new destinations with our little buddies.

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