We took the girls to the newly built Bass Pro shop in Broken Arrow, OK last Wednesday. Daniel was excited about the idea, but I had never been to one before so didn't know how fun it could be. The girls were in awe from the moment we arrived.
The crosswalk in front of the store was painted with little white fish instead of normal lines. They were overwhelmed by the giant two story waterfall pouring into a real fish tank. After seeing their enjoyment here, Daniel and I both agreed we have to take them to a real aquarium. Daniel pointed out all of the different fish in the tank that can each be found in Oklahoma lakes and rivers. The girls discussed why some fish might need super long noses and why others had whiskers.
We walked around and upstairs looking at all the different stuffed animals (and I don't mean teddy bears). They stroked the fur on a deer, buffalo, mountain lion, bear, raccoon, and a few others. We showed them the foam deer that hunters use for target practice and how they outline where the heart and lungs and liver were. Daniel played a giant target shooting game. Finally, we followed the various animal tracks in the floor. The girls played like they were hunters tracking paw prints around the store. When one trail ended they'd just pick up the next nearest one and follow it.
There was also a mini NASCAR that the girls sat in for a picture and pretended to drive. We talked about the tree stands for hunters and why it was important to be where an animal couldn't see you or smell you and to be silent. We talked about the importance of good aim, so that you didn't just hurt an animal and let it run off and die in pain. We saw a display of a mountain lion about to sneak attack a big buck.
Daniel and I saw the giant buffalo and smiled, remembering how the first giant statue of a buffalo I ever saw was painted white and far off in the distance. Daniel and I were teenagers, and we argued about whether it was a large sheep or a buffalo as we drove closer to it in the church van. He still teases me over that, but I don't mind. This was a really fun activity as a family. Daniel and I agreed that this is where we're going to get our Dad's Christmas gifts from this year!