This is part of a series that all began with The Official 23 x 23 List for a Six-Tastic Summer, in which we try to stay sane and make the most of our days together this summer. You can read about the rest of our escapades so far here.
I guess I should clarify here. It's not "slide down a giant toilet," it's "slide down the giant toilet." Specifically the giant toilet at KidsCommons in Columbus, Indiana.
I'll be the first to admit I was ready to let this one slide (bah-bah-BUM!). By this point we'd already been in the car 28 hours round-trip to the beach, had a few day trips here and there, and were just finishing up a day of museums in Fort Wayne. We'd get there some other time. But from day one of the 23 x 23 list my good friend Lisa A. swore we were hitting up the giant toilet together. She lives in Nashville and was working her way up to Michigan with her boys. If she was willing to drive 4 hours to see the giant toilet, surely I could haul my sorry ass an hour south of Indy.
Oh, I'm so glad I did. First of all, Columbus is a gem of a city. I can't believe in all my years as a Hoosier, in all my trips up and down I-65 between here and Nashville, that I never ventured further into Columbus than the Starbucks off the interstate. It's a small community in the middle of the heartland, yet it's brimming with modern architecture, art and stunning landscape architecture, including works by I.M. Pei and Dale Chihuly. I'm dying to go back simply for a photo walk.
Of all the children's museums I've been to, KidsCommons is one of the best. It's small (3 floors of exhibits/activities), but that's part of its charm. It's the only museum I can think of where my children, who are 5 years apart, can both find things fun and interesting to do at the same time. My kids were enchanted with the place. All four kids (ages 8, 7, 3 and 2) loved the nooks and hidden passageways of the ExploraHouse. Surrounding yourself in a giant bubble was also a big hit.
The Kids-at-Art space was beautiful, filled with light and art made by the kids with recycled materials and paints. I couldn't resist creating a little myself, using crayons on a hot plate to make wax paintings.
The giant toilet is the grand poo-bah, though. No kid can resist, especially with the flushing sound that accompanies you down the drain. Lisa, always up for an adventure, climbed right in. I flushed her down and met her at the bottom. Now here's your important information: Lisa is a tiny, fit thing. When she told me it was a little cramped in the commode? I took her word for it and stayed out. Nothing's more embarrassing than clogging up someone else's toilet. Trust me, though, the kids will love it.
Just a few doors down from KidsCommons is Zaharakos, an ice cream parlor that dates back to 1900. It underwent a complete renovation in 2009 and it's simply fabulous inside. We listened to the restored Welte Orchestrion while we ate dinner and ice cream sundaes. It's one of the 50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do (according to Indianapolis Monthly), so what are you waiting for?
Of all the things we've accomplished on our 23 x 23 list, this little day trip was my very favorite. It was the true essence of what the list was all about: explore something new and have fun together. And if it involves a giant toilet? Even better.
You can see the rest of the photos from our trip here.