“Where the hell is that?” Peter asked.
“I don’t know. Somewhere off I-75.”
“What’s there to do at this festival?”
“It’s where Neil Armstrong was born, so . . . space stuff?”
And that’s how we ended up driving four hours round-trip to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum so that Philip could jump in a bounce house for ten minutes.
Peter was bored on Sunday morning. He had plans for that evening, but the rest of the day was wide open. After his second deep sigh, I consulted the OhioFestivals.net schedule. Dozens of events took place around the state last weekend, but most had concluded on Saturday.
One exception was the Summer Moon Festival in Wapakoneta, Ohio.
I thought it sounded like an interesting event, but it was already after 10:00 am, and we were 130 miles away. Peter didn’t think that sounded too far, so I scrambled to get myself and Philip ready to go. In my haste I was unable to take a shower and forgot to pack snacks. I was regretting the latter as I watched Philip munch on Froot Loops that he had dumped on the back seat the weekend before. I drew the line at picking up the ones off the floor for him to eat.
We made a quick stop at McDonald’s for lunch. That’s why someone will find a Super Mario toy along I-75 South. I thought Philip was just holding it up to see if the air would move the wheels. Too late I realized he was preparing to toss it out the window.
By the time we pulled into the parking lot, Philip was ready to be out of the car. We all spotted our first stop: the inflatables on the lawn of the museum. Philip was the only one in the bounce house at first, and the other kids passed through from the bouncing area to the slide. Since there was no line to get in, we would have let Philip keep bouncing. Unfortunately, we could tell the surface was hot by the way that Philip skirted to the edges in the shade and tiptoed around. Plus, the effort made him sweat even more.
We thought we would head into the museum next. The admission price was reasonable: $8.00 for adults and Philip would have been free. As tempting as air conditioning was in the summer sun, we opted not to pay to go in. With Peter’s other plans limiting our time, we didn’t want to feel like we were rushing through.
Instead, we made our way to the tents set up near the front. One tent was dedicated to kid-friendly fun: face painting, bubbles, a Mars Rover demo, and twirly bird toys. Another tent featured educational information about NASA and space exploration. Philip’s favorite part: a floor fan. Smart boy.
By this point, I was thinking that a shower would have been pointless. We were all sweating. We decided to sit in the shade to watch the model rocket launches before heading home.
While I don’t feel comfortable calling this a review since we only sampled a small part of the festival, I would recommend that you do what we did: mark your calendar for next year! While this year’s event was special since it honored the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the festival appears to be well-organized with something for the whole family. The annual event is co-hosted by the museum and chamber of commerce. Festivities ran from Wednesday to Sunday. Activities took place on the museum grounds as well as downtown and included races, live music, a car show, and an appearance by astronaut Sunita Williams. Based on only the possibilities, our family plans on getting an earlier start and coming prepared with snacks and sunscreen.
Stay tuned for a future Sunday Slideshow from Wapakoneta. Now you know where the hell that is.