Do we ever really stop wanting to “go play?”

My husband and I attended an “Adult Play Date” at Adventure Science Center this week with a group of friends. The center was for 21 and over only, as you got two drink tickets with your ticket to enter. The description of the night said all the exhibits were made to hold adults, so it was an adults chance to come play without kids around.

We’d never been to the science center before. I had wanted to take my niece and nephew when they’d visited last summer, but it just never worked out with our schedule. I was incredibly curious about what we’d find in that big building with the multi-colored pyramid roof.

What we found was our chance to all become 8-year-olds again. I looked around and constantly saw 30-somethings gleefully going down slides and playing with countless science experiments. I sat with our beers and my purse at one point while my husband climbed a jungle-gym to the top of the building and then slid down a twisty slide. I had to laugh as adult after adult literally ran to get in line to ride the slide. When my husband got back, it was my turn. There was something extremely freeing to jump in a tube slide and whoosh (kind of… I kept getting stuck… too tall!) down to the bottom.

Me and my husband on a heat-signature wall

We laughed, we learned, and we all agreed that we couldn’t wait to go back some day.

Perhaps the coolest part of the whole night was the planetarium show. We only had a short 10-minute presentation, but that huge rounded screen over our heads was incredible.

They gave us a taste of a laser light show that they are putting on this Saturday for Halloween. As the stars spun behind the lasers, I found myself dizzy but unable to look away. Metallica (“Enter Sandman”) thumped in my ears, and the lasers created image after image. It was incredible! I think if anyone would have been watching me, they’d have seen my eyes glowing like a five-year-old’s at Christmas.

We had such an incredible night! Next time my brother and his family visit, we will definitely make the science center a place to visit. My nephew would absolutely flip over everything!

This all came on the heels of going to a corn maze a few days before. This has become something of a fall tradition for us, going to a different maze every year the last three years. This year we went with a big group of friends, which just made it even better.

We also have our costumes picked out for Halloween. We will go out Saturday night for awhile, and then we can’t wait to hand out candy Sunday.

So I guess, at heart, we are forever kids. We never lose our want to “go play” — we are just trained that as we grow up, other things take over in importance. We learn how to squash that want because its “inappropriate,” opting instead to sit on the sidelines making sure others are having fun.

That’s what makes this time of year so special. There are so many options that encourage adults to go be a kid again. It’s really okay. Have some fun and don’t apologize for it.

Friends at the corn maze!

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