Congratulations on having made the righteous move of taking your children out of the house and away from their damage-sowing screens on this frigid/sweltering/inundated day. As you can surmise from the line of small, wriggling bodies coiling down the stairs, onto the sidewalk and around the block, you were not the only desperate parents so inspired.
But why stand on line for forty interminable minutes of whining when you can turn today’s fifty-dollar general admission tickets into an entire year of discovery and adventure! For a mere five hundred dollars, the cost of just three visits, you can become members of the Great Hall. Benefits include: access to our members-only gate, a ten percent discount on astronomically-priced food, drinks and souvenirs, and a free golf pencil your preschooler can ram into your leg in protest when you refuse to purchase a sixty-dollar plush animal.
Listen to Famous Actress narrate a decades-old film about the origins of life and wonder how your normally attention deficient child can sit through this many repeated viewings. When the ache of boredom becomes more than anyone should really expect you to bear, sneak your phone from your back pocket and see if you can get away with three minutes of scrolling before your child swipes it from your hand and blasts the least appropriate version of The Five Fingers Song for everyone within a fifteen-foot radius.
Ponder morbidly alongside your children as they ask whether the great stuffed beasts of plains and forest were found dead or shot purely for taxidermic purposes. Peer into the dust-filmed glass eyes of an undead animal and ask yourself what entrepreneurial genius imagined all of this into being.
Animal carcasses making you peckish? Head to the cafeteria, and purchase breaded chicken cut into the shape of a dinosaur for the same price per ounce as cabernet sauvignon.
Thank you for supporting our efforts to preserve ocean life by providing neither straws nor lids for beverages. When your toddler asks for a sip of lemonade and pours the entire cup down the front of her coveralls, imagine a dolphin off the coast of Florida winking in thanks.
Walk forcibly through one of our many strategically-placed gift shops in order to reach an exit. For only twenty dollars you can bring home a small lump of foam that smells like off-brand vanilla air freshener. Know that your purchases of mass-produced, ocean-clogging plastic junk go towards supporting our worldwide conservation and education efforts.
Experience the magic of the night sky in our planetarium. Feel the adrenaline of existential crisis rise in your chest as your child clutches you during a reenactment of the Big Bang. Ponder whether this is all love is, this holding onto one another as the universe goes hurdling forward into the infinite abyss.
After we blast a fifteen-minute warning for closing time in the languages of the world’s eight wealthiest nations, let us thank you again for bringing your impressionable progeny to the Great Hall. We hope that you, too, have been enlightened by your visit.