I am a teacher--not just by profession, but by God's gifting, so where ever I go I always keep my eyes and mind open for learning opportunities, especially fun ones, for my kids (I'd probably be doing this even if I wasn't a homeschooling mom). On Tuesday we were looking for some things to do and Roger found out about a fish hatchery near Table Rock lake and dam that was free. Yea, we were actually going to be getting some school done on this trip--call it a field trip if you'd like. This was a really neat place. They had a large room with so many pictures, animals, and information about all kinds of things regarding nature, and then outside we got to feed fish and see them at different sizes as they were being raised to be released into lakes. We also got to see some of the workers squeeze the fish. They were doing this to determine which ones were males who would secrete an oil and which were females who had eggs. It was pretty interesting. Another interesting thing that happened was Lauren had her favorite pair of sunglasses kind of tucked into the neck of her shirt and when she was leaning over to feed some fish they fell into the water! We knew we wouldn't want them back even if the employees could retrieve them, but we wanted to make sure they knew what had happened in case it would end up doing any kind of harm or damage to the fish or equipment in any way. They said that this has happened several times. Poor Lauren, but we did buy her some new ones and she was happy.
After the fish hatchery we drove to an area at Table Rock lake where they also had an indoor place with more nature info and activities.
We then drove to Springfield to visit the largest Bass Pro Shop, but before there was a restaurant Roger had heard about where they throw dinner rolls, so we stopped there for lunch. The restaurant reminded me of Cracker Barrel had yummy food, but the rolls were huge and very yummy (you will see that we bought a dozen to bring home with us). Evan really enjoyed catching the rolls.
Bass Pro was humongous and so highly decorated. They were even building onto it--a museum I think. An example of jewelry they had were fish bait earrings; wish I'd gotten a picture of them. The pic where you see the underside of the boat was part of the ceiling--it was like you were under water! Then when we were looking through hunting clothes, I turned around and Miss Lauren had dressed up in all of the orange like a duck. She really didn't want me to take her picture, but it was too cute not to. This was a fun, inexpensive day.