Thursday, December 16, 2010

American Swedish Institute--Friday History Field Trip #11, on Thursday

(This post is part of the back log I am working on. If you are getting it in a reader, I apologize, things will be out of order!)


We have a play on the schedule for tomorrow, and though we were at the planetarium this morning, I wanted to squeeze in a Friday History Field Trip this week, so we went this afternoon. Part of the reason I wanted to squeeze in a field trip was that I love going to the Swedish Institute at Christmas time. It is such a beautiful house! When it is decorated for Christmas it is that much more lovely.

This time we went at lunch time and hit the cafe first. They have only a small selection of options, but we managed to find something to eat. Then we sat with our A to Z scavenger hunt and selected a few items we wanted to look for as we went through the house. The A to Z scavenger hunt is great, but a bit long. I read through the items and made some suggestions. Having been to the Institute before really helped, too, since many of the things I could remember, making it easier to give hints to the kids.


The one thing Kiddo really wanted to find this time? All 11 kakelugn, the Swedish tile stoves imported for the home. If you follow the link you will see one of the kakelugn. Photographs are not allowed in the institute, so I can't show any more, but the one shown is a favorite anyway. They are really ornate and so much fun to see. We had previously found 9 of them, but the last 2 were elusive. We managed to find all 11 this time! There is a second one in the basement that we did not know about, as well as one in the gift shop that would have been overlooked.

Kutey was very excited when I mentioned there was a picture of a real princess somewhere in the house. For Christmas they set the tables in the tradition of the various scandinavian cultures and this year for Sweden they set the table to look like the wedding table of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who married in June. They had pictures of the royals posted in the room. Kutey was in awe. Pictures of an actual princess. In the new year I hope to pull more information about royalty out for her, especially as Prince William gets married. Maybe we can transition from the love of fairytale princesses to knowledge of real princesses. We shall see.

We spent some time playing in the kids area, which has a small play house complete with clothes to dress-up as Sankta Lucia and toy lussekatt and pepparkakor. Kutey loves to dress up as Lucia when we are here. She was looking for the crown from the moment we got there.


There were two interesting special exhibits going on, one on the history of Sankta Lucia, the other "Santa Claus, Coca-Cola, and Swedish Design." Both were an adult. They had lots of Coca-Cola artifacts on display, which the kids enjoyed, but the exhibits are reading intensive and my kids lost interest. As much as they love history, this was just a bit much for them.


As we were leaving, we paused to find the turret on the house, and noted just how deep the snow was along the path. The weekend storm
has made it difficult to get about in the city, even in well-prepared Minnesota. I can't imagine what a storm would do to places less well-equipped to handle it.

No comments: