Truck & Tractor Day: Insights from a Staff Mom

My kids (a 7 year old girl and twin boys, 4) come to Winterthur a lot. “Take-your-kids-to work day” is a no-brainer when you work at a place with a three-acre children’s garden and a Touch-It Room, not to mention friendly colleagues who have known these kids since they were in utero. We come for all the events and try to get here for at least a few regular family programs when we can. And my oldest said when we left on Saturday afternoon that Truck & Tractor Day was the best program she’d ever attended at Winterthur.

High praise from a 7 year old, for sure. Here’s what she loved most: she loved trying out the water hose from the fire truck, choosing a pumpkin, and doing crafts and activities in the Brown Center. Here’s what the twins loved: climbing into the seats of all the big vehicles and pretending to be working on the farm, pretending to be a firefighter, and pretending to hoist the big crane. What I loved? A contained event in an open space, where I felt like the kids could safely explore without getting lost. I loved that there were volunteers everywhere to help out and answer questions. I loved that the crafts and activities were fun and not messy.

And – forgive me, brilliant Winterthur colleagues – I loved that the whole point of the event was just plain old-fashioned (pun intended) fun. No education, no academics, no scholarship. We at Winterthur know an awful lot about America’s cultural, artistic, social, and intellectual history, about decorative arts, about horticulture, craftsmanship, interior design, architecture, soil, tree canopies, orchestrated bloom successions, and caring for precious objects. It was fun to put all that in our pocket for a day and just have fun spraying the fire hose.

Traci Manza Murphy is the Assistant Director of Membership.

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