Saturday, February 25, 2012

Free Admissions...We're There!

O.k. I know we are all always looking for or at least get excited when we learn of free outings for our home schooled children. Well I had a play date scheduled for this past Tuesday because it was winter break in our county so my daughter's school-age friends were out of school and available to come over. I decided not to take winter break along with the school system but we did take a couple of half days and a really awesome field trip! This is what today's post is all about. Our really, really awesome, super fun, free, educational field trip!

There's a place in south GA called Callaway Gardens. It is really beautiful in the spring and summer months, well, because it is a garden:

"Open since 1952, Callaway Gardens is the centerpiece of 13,000 acres nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachians.  Founder Cason Jewell Callaway longed for a place where man and nature could abide together for the good of both, and now more than half a century later, his retreat continues to offer solace, inspiration and discovery for all who come here."

We, however found out from my friend, that Callaway was offering free admissions! This is of course due to it being winter which is definitely off-peak season for a nature retreat in the South. Well, the dear old people of Callaway Gardens were probably not expecting it to hit 75 degrees during their off-peak season, but opportunistic moms like myself and my friends waited patiently until just such a day come upon us and pounced on the golden opportunity!
Birds of Prey Show at Callaway Gardens

I called a field trip, packed a lunch, called another homeschooling mom of 5 and we hit the road. Literally. We are not in the closest proximity to Callaway so it was more like a road trip for us but was still well worth it. We watched an awesome Birds of Prey show that included interesting facts about Raptors or wild birds of prey. We learned about the Red Hawk which is one beautiful animal. We also learned about the Horned Owl and a couple of more beautiful birds. We also ducked as these lovely creatures flew ans swooped over the crowed. It was a great experience for the kids! Especially since my friend's kids were coverning birds in their curriculum this past week. We however had just finished covering insects. NO worries though, Callaway had us covered. There's a beautiful butterfly atrium where they breed butterflies and have a number of cocoons and chrysallis on display so that we could observe the different stages of a catepillar turning into a butterfly. Very educational for my two girls. Inside of the atrium though was several species of butterflies fluttering all around. It was magical.
Chelsea in the long sleeve pink tee inside the butterfly atrium and Madison attempting to catch a butterfly!

We also enjoyed feeding large fish off of a bridge at Discovery Center and seeing all of the different types of flowers beginning to bloom as we walked from station to station.

In closing...I'd like to say that if you are new to home schooling like me, take this tip for things to do. Think about all types of attractions business whose peak times have passed, pull up their websites and search for free admissions! You're sure to stumble upon something good.
We need a better camera!
Chelsea and Madison playing in the fountain inside of the butterfly atrium

I will add pictures of our outing soon...

*What did you do on Winter break or over the weekend? Please feel free to share below!!!

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