Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Molly Goes To Minnesota: Part 2

Molly Goes To Minnesota: Part 2

Day 2 In Minneapolis - Late Morning

It took me a while to find it (third floor, southeast corner of the Mall) but finally I reached it... and by it, mean....

Heck yeah, Barbie!

Now, I fully knew going in that this exhibit was probably intended for children, but I also knew that they weren't keeping paying adults out. So I paid and they loaned me this groovy bracelet, which could interact with some of the kiosks and computers inside the Dreamhouse.

 Such as this one...

We started out by registering ourselves (hi I'm a girl and I like ponies!) and gazing around a very pink room (the first of many.)

Then our tour guide took us (and by us I mean me and about five adults, five little girls, and a baby boy) on a pretend elevator.

At this point, our tour guide told us some Barbie facts. Annnnd then she was done telling us facts for the rest of the tour. Seriously... her job after this was just to escort our group from room to room and make sure nobody fell into Barbie's dreamtub.

The first room we visited was Barbie's kitchen.

The kitchen wasn't very impressive. Some of the drawers could open, and some of the knobs on the appliances turned, but a lot of stuff did nothing at all.

There was a one-minute cupcake decorating game...

...which was only amusing because I used it to create the most hideous cupcake I could.

However, there were no dishes or toy food we could actually play with. Kind of disappointing, the kitchen.

Next, we visited... the ice room?

My Barbie House never had an ice room!

Of course Barbie owns a sleigh!

Just when I was thinking this felt a lot like Frozen, two of the little girls climbed into the sleigh and began acting out scenes from said film. ("You can be Kristoff!") But that only lasted about fifteen seconds, because we were then ushered into the next room...

I guess this is Barbie's Media Room. There wasn't much to do in here. You could touch buttons on the piano to initiate 1 of 3 get-stuck-in-your-head Barbie songs, and there was another interactive game on the computer screens, and but mostly there were just things to look at. Pink things to look at.

Next we went into a kind of Beach room. 

This room had some neat interactive elements. There were buttons that would make the flowers in the flowerbeds "grow". You could look into the 3 different telescope/projectors and turn a dial to see half a dozen photos of Barbie & Ken & their friends. They also had a little ice cream stand with play ice cream cones/icecream that was popular with the little girls.

Onward to Barbie's bedroom!

I thought this bed was pretty funny. One, because it's so huge -- you could fit about twelve people on it, and two, because when I was a kid, Barbie beds were notoriously thin, as if to make sure she never could have Ken sleep over (comfortably). Well, that's changed!

Barbie's bathroom was a little strange. I mean, I remember my cousins used to have a tiny Barbie toilet that you could fill with water, and when you opened (or closed?) the lid, the water would whoosh away, and we all thought that was great.

This is... different....

 Save me!!

You could push a button on the wall that made the toilet seat rise and a little dolphiny thing popped out and made sounds.

I'm a little disturbed.

Then there were Barbie's closets....

"I say closetS... because there are several." -- Mr. Collins.

There was a particularly cool activity in one of the closet rooms, where kids could stand in front of a video screen and it would capture their image and then digitally put a dress or outfit on them. If they raised their arms, sparkles would appear on the screen and the outfit would change. The little girls in my group really seemed to love this.

The last stop on our tour was a gigantic room with several different stations & activities. You could dress up, "perform" on a stage, walk down a runway, get your make-up done, color a Barbie picture, play with an actual toy Dreamhouse, and basically just... play! At this point, our tour guide (such as she was) left us to our own devices and told us we could stay as long as we wanted and leave when we were ready.

Meanwhile, the same three Barbie songs kept playing over the loudspeakers. Enough to drive anyone nuts!

Upon exiting Barbie's house of dreams, I came upon a store selling -- what else?

If I had visited this when I was 10 or 11, I would have simply dropped dead from happiness. They'd have had to bury me in the sand in Barbie's Beach room.

Mega Bloks, the bane of any true Lego fan's existence...

In the end, I enjoyed the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience. Even though it seems to have been designed for 4-to-12-year-old girls, it was still a fun tour. I liked seeing all the different rooms and seeing the kids' faces light up when they encountered something extra special. All in all, not a bad way to spend an hour.

Day 2 - Afternoon

I had a vague idea of how I wanted to spend Thursday afternoon. Since I would need to go downtown for Rifftrax that evening anyway, I thought I may as well visit some other sights that are near downtown. There was the Minneapolis Institute Of Arts, a sculpture park, and a few other little things that I'd marked on my map.

From the Mall Of America, I took the blue line light rail to Franklin Street, where I caught a bus to 1st street, and walked about four blocks to to the Minneapolis Institute Of Arts.

And that ended up being the only place I went that afternoon because IT. WAS. AMAZING!

I spent three hours there, and it wasn't enough. So much beauty, art, history. I saw works by Monet, Picasso, O'Keefe, Matisse, and many more. And the place is so big! Plus it was virtually devoid of people that afternoon. I could have just gone here and the whole trip to Minneapolis would've been worth it. Crazy? Maybe. Don't care.

That said, by the time I was able to drag myself away, it was too late to try to go to the sculpture park or anywhere else. It was time to head downtown for some dinner & a movie. (A really, really terrible movie.)

* * * * *

Next up -- Part 3, in which I finally make it to the main event -- Rifftrax Live!

1 comment:

Amy O. said...

The toilet dolphin is definitely mystifying!