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CHILDREN'S MUSEUM - A HANDS ON LEARNING ADVENTURE   
Part OneTwo ► Three
Written by: Amanda Formaro [Amanda Formaro is the crafty, entrepreneurial mother of four children.]

Article Summary:

If you haven't visited a children's museum in the past, you may want to mark it on your calendar as a "don't miss" event. Open year round in most cases, these child friendly environments are entertaining as well as educational.

Article (continued from Page Two):

The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm

1201 28th Ave N.
Fargo, ND 58102
General Info: (701) 232-6102

"The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm shows youngsters the wonders and fun of nature and the agricultural world around them. But it's more than a museum. The displays are built to involve children in demonstrations, hands-on experiments and one fascinating learning project after another. For example, children can watch a display of live bees, then crawl into and explore a section of honeycomb. Popular features of the museum include the bubble area and an exhibit of animal skins and bones."

Exploris

201 East Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
General Info: (919) 834-4040

"The World's First Global Experience Center"

"Through interactive, hands-on exhibits; thought-provoking, engaging programs for young people, families, teachers, and visitors of all ages; and the Web, we're wondering, discovering, learning, connecting, getting involved - and having fun! We're exploring our exciting and fascinating world from many perspectives; making connections in many places; and getting into the act in many ways."

Exhibits include; Exploris Journey, Many Voices, Living In Balance, One Voice, Tradeworks, and People and Places.

Greensboro Children's Museum

220 North Church Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
General Info: (336) 574-2898

Hand on! Exhibits include; Music Room, Our Town Bank, MegaFood Mart, Big Bubble Springs, Our World Exhibit, Transportation Area, Sand Play Area, Water Play Area, and The Architect's Office where you can design your own building! "Coming to your neighborhood June 1 - September 31 ; MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD--A HANDS-ON EXHIBIT Step through the front door and onto the set of this classic TV show! Fred's closet is full of sweaters and sneakers you can wear as you run a trolley to the Land of Make-Believe, put on a show at King Friday's castle or X the Owl's tree, and build a fountain in the kitchen."

The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

1895 South Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
General Info: (845) 297-5938

Hands on! Exhibits include; Virtual Reality, Ears Are For Listening, Ratification Of The U.S. Constitution, Magic School Bus Tour, IBM's Da Vinci Inventions,
Dinosaurs and More, Space Shuttle, Morse Telegraph, Garret Morgan's Traffic Signal, The Great Bubble Machine, Optical Odyssey, Health Center, Geography (Giant wall mural of the world, rug map of the U.S., globes, puzzles and electronic games provide children with a tangible sense of the world around them.), Imagine-Nation and Tiny Town, WKID Studios, Multi-Media Computer Center , Little Sprouts Farm, Starlab Planetarium, Texico's Science On Wheels, and Gravity Roll.

Santa Fe Children's Museum


1050 Old Pecos Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87501
General Info: (505) 989-8359

Hands on! Exhibits include; Climbing Wall, Dr. Drew's Blocks, Looms (discover weaving), Rolling Balls, Bubbles, Maxi-Rollway (Create a pathway to experiment with motion, color, sound, speed, and gravity.), Pin Screen (Make sculptural impressions of your body in this wonderful sensory exhibit.), Animals, Make & Take (recycle), Sunroom (Observe and study reptiles, rodents, and other critters.), Toddler Area, Magnets, Face Painting, Lego Table, Gardens, Xylophones, Sound Disks (Whisper to a friend at the opposite dish. The sound will echo back.), Pond and Fountain, Obstacle Course, and Greenhouse.

The Garden State Discovery Museum

16 N. Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
General Info: (856) 424-1233

"A hands-on museum for infants to 10 year olds, the Discovery Museum offers fifteen larger-than-life, kid powered, interactive exhibit areas. Every exhibit is an invitation to touch, explore, and create. Visitors can get inside of a gigantic bubble, scale a rock climbing wall, hop aboard a ship, bandage a wounded teddy-bear, "shop" at the farm stand then whip up a pretend exotic meal at the Discovery Diner, dabble in art, create some music, put on a show and build a two-story house."

Children's Museum of Montana

Green Falls, Montana

Quote from Great Falls, Montana's Tourism page: "And don't forget the Children's Museum of Montana. Full of innovative, hands-on activities and interactive exhibits, it offers the most fun per square foot for the young and the young at heart. So go on, perform in a puppet show, generate your own electricity, or build a model city in the Construction Zone, it's guaranteed family fun!"

The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum

516 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
General Info: (314) 822-8900

Hands on! Exhibits include; Fitness Safari (children ages 7 to 14 -- Swing on a vine like Tarzan. Leap from log to log across a river of balls. Cross a bridge made of rope. And maneuver through a dark diamond mine.) , First Impressions, Electric Company, Find The Power!, For Babies Only, and KIDS-TV Station.

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

246 Dolan Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39507
General Info: (228) 897-6039

Hands on! The Super Colossal Climbing Structure, Health Wanted, History Attic, To Market - To Market, Calling All "Stars" (radio station), The Port (water), A Matter Of Science, Art Knows - Anything Goes, Bear Camp Bayou (a magical mural transports toddlers to a whimsical setting where they join the Teddy Bears to picnic at the bayou "camp."), Our Own Backyard, and Tree House Village.

Minnesota Children's Museum

10 West Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
General Info: (651) 225-6001

Hands on! Exhibits include; Habitot, Earth World Gallery, World Works Gallery and One World Gallery. Current traveling exhibits include; Flight, Snow Ball and Global Shoes.

Port Discovery, The Children's Museum in Baltimore Maryland

35 Market Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
General Info: (410) 727-8120

Exhibits include; Meet and Greet Street, Kidworks, MPT Studio Works (tv station), Kids' Voices, R & D Dreamlab ("If you want to make a dream real, sometimes you've just got to mess around in the ol' workshop. Well, you can come tinker here, in our R & D DreamLab, with real tools to build real stuff!"), Sensation Station (exploring the senses), Miss Perception's Mystery House ("Help the ace detective solve a mystery using baffling clues and bits of evidence in every room! Piece together whatever you can find in these nooks and crannies - and be sure to bring your problem-solving hat."), and The Robot Zoo.

Children's Museum of Maine

142 Free Street
Portland, ME
General Info: (207) 828-1234

Exhibits include; Our Town, Farm, Hank's Market, Dr. I Dexx Animal Hospital, Toddler Park, Fire Truck, The Tree, Climbing Wall, Stream Table, and Underwater World.

Louisiana Children's Museum

420 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
General Info: (504) 523-1357

The Family Museum of Arts & Science

2900 Learning Campus Drive at 18th Street
Bettendorf, Iowa
General Info: (319) 344-4106

Exhibits include; The Homestead (touch a tornado, compare the life of early farmers to present day farmers, visit a farmhouse), Rhythm Alley (music), Heartland (the human heart and living a healthy lifestyle), and "Kingdom For Kids" Playground.

Discovery Center of Idaho

131 Myrtle Street
Boise, ID 83702
General Info: (208) 343-9895

"The Discovery Center is a laboratory for science discovery and fun. Visitors are actively and directly involved in scientific exploration; you DO something to learn the science behind the exhibit. Each station allows for hypothesizing, experimentation, and drawing conclusions -- a replica of the scientific method. Through participatory science exhibits, demonstrations and classes, students and families experience science in an entertaining, engaging and educational environment. Exhibits, programs and events will help guide you in understanding the connection between scientific principles and your everyday life."

Hawaii Children's Discovery Center

11 Ohe Street
Honolulu, HI

Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium

PO Drawer 2217
Fort Myers, FL 33902
General Info: (941) 332-6600

"Exhibits and learning experiences encompass a variety of different subjects including the environment, physics, anatomy, economy, marine biology, weather and much, much more. Through the Imaginarium's curiosity-sparking exhibits, theater shows that include a 3-D slide show and many other activities, visitors explore their world around them and discover what makes Southwest Florida such a unique community."

The Children's Science Center

2915 Pine Island Road
Cape Coral, FL 33909
General Info: (941) 997-0012

Exhibits include; Calusa Indian Technology, Color Perception & 3-D, Dinosaurs, Electricity, The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Fossils & Shells, Holographs & Inventions, The Human Body, Mathematics and Optical Illusions.

Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut

409 Main Street
Niantic, CT 06357
General Info: (860) 691-1111

Hands on! Exhibits include; Kidsville (a thematic town targeting children from 1-8 years old.), Rotating Exhibit Space (contains our All Aboard, walk-in train station, view train memorabilia, and play with one of the largest Brio train sets you will ever find.), Discovery Room (oriented to children from age 6 and up to 12 years. There are computers, microscopes, assorted science related activities, Y2K kiosk, large-size kaleidoscope, live animals like Richter our Red Tailed Boa Constrictor, Tarantula, and our collections: rocks, gems, minerals, sea shells, Native American Artifacts, and much more.), Discovery Garden, and Benthic Explorer Submarine Exhibit.

Kidcity Children's Museum

119 Washington Street
Middletown, CT 06457
General Info: (860) 347-0495

Hands on! Exhibits include; The Ship, The Farm, Main Street - all designed for children 6 months to 5 years. Also, Global Music, Video Theater, The Borrower's Library, Invention Station and Community Room - all designed for children 6 to 10 years.

Tucson Children's Museum

200 South Sixth Avenue
PO Box 2609
Tucson, Arizona 85702-2609
General Info: (520) 792-9985

Exhibits include; Dinosaur Canyon, Ocean Discovery Center, The greatest Choice On Earth! (about smoking - "…negative effects of tobacco on the body. Walk on a squishy tongue into a giant mouth! See the one and only "Huff n' Puff Human Sideshow!" Test your skill with the "Amazing Gasp! Machine." Try your luck at the "Fresh Aircade."), Temple of Art, Wee World, Bubbles, The Fire House, Life Rhythms, Electricity: Turn It On, TV Studio, Home Depot Multi-Purpose Room, and IBM Young Explorers Center.

Children's Hands-On Museum

2213 University Blvd,
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
General Info: (205) 349-4235

Exhibits include; Choctaw Indian Village, T-Town, Grandmother's Attic ("Dress in historical clothing."), The Planetarium, Children's Hospital, TV Station, Citizenship Center, Images, Captain Tim Parker, Beaver's Bend ("Children, ages 3-7 can visit a fabricated riverband environment which includes a winding river, a beavers dam, mud and sand, a tree with bird's nest and a tree house, a rabbit hole."), and Japan House ("…built of materials natural to Japan emphasizing the Japanese perception of beauty. Leave your shoes at the door. Enter through shoji panels. Visit the kitchen and the furo, the bath, with its deep wooden tub. Sit on cushions at a low table in the tatami room. Play games in the authentic surroundings…")

Kirby Science Discovery Center

Washington Pavilion Of Arts and Science
301 S. Main Street
Sioux Falls, SD
General Info: (605) 367-7397

For the whole family, not just a children's hands-on museum. Part of a large Arts and Science Complex. Exhibits include; Air and Space, Peak Performance, Digital Discovery, Big Sioux River Bank, Lights-Sound-Action!, Nature Works, and Dynamic Earth.

Children's Museum of Portsmouth

280 Marcy St.
Portsmouth NH 03801
General Info: (603) 436-3853

Exhibits include; Dino Detective, Global Soles, Magicam ("Use this unique magnifier to enlarge science, nature and everyday objects up to 40 times their actual size."), Lobstering, Yellow Submarine, Space Shuttle, Siss! Boom! Bang! (musical instruments), Step Into A Story, First Impressions, Trolley ("Climb aboard this miniature replica of a turn-of-the-century trolley on the museum's front lawn."), Let's Communicate, Kid's World Café

* Unfortunately, our sources were unable to locate a children's museum in the state of Georgia. There are plans for one in Macon, Georgia in the next couple of years. If you know the wherabouts of a Georgia children's museum, please email us!


DuPage Childrens Museum

301 N. Washington
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: 630-637-8000
Fax: 630-637-1276

Open the Door to Learning Fun!

The DuPage Children's Museum is a unique discovery center where children and adults can explore, discover, learn and play together. View interesting works of art and experiment with light, color and sound in Creativity Connections. Build with real wood and tools in the Construction House. Climb the amazing, two-story AirTower or get blown away by the force of air in our walk-in Wind Tunnel. Build a dam to hold back the flow of water in either of the two flowing water areas in WaterWays. Blow a gigantic bubble in Bubbles or build your own racetrack in Ramps & Rollers. There are also Young Explorer areas that feature numerous activities specially designed for infants to two-year olds.

The Museum is located at 301 North Washington Street in Naperville, Illinois and is open to the public daily except for Mondays, which are reserved for Museum members.

For more information about the DuPage Children's Museum, please call (630) 637-8000.

CANADA 


Science Center North

100 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario P3E 5S9
Canada
705-522-3701
Toll Free: 1-800-461-4898

Hands on! Exhibits include; LEGO Mindstorms ("puts the power of robotics in children's hands"), IMAX Theater, Virtual Voyages Adventure Ride ("combines motion simulator technology with high-resolution animation on a 7-metre-by-3-metre (24-foot-by-11-foot) screen. Three six-seat motion platforms move you in synchronization with fast-action adventures."), F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery ("an exotic … with up to 600 free-flying tropical butterflies and dozens of flowering, fragrant plants in a glass-enclosed environment…"), Big Nickel Mine, and even a cruise.

Science World

1455 Quebec Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada, V6A 327
604-443-7443

Hands on! Exhibits include; Kalliroscope ("see amazing patterns that will remind you of storm clouds or whirlpools"), Giant Lever, Levitating Ball, Plasma Ball, Shadow Wall, Strobe Drops ("make water drops seem to move up or down or even 'freeze' in place"), Mine Games ("an intriguing introduction to mining that combines hands-on exhibits with challenging computer simulations"), Sara Stern Search ("explore with your senses), Visual Illusions, and KidSpace ("an area for 3 to 6 year-olds to play with movement and materials").

Canadian Children's Museum

Canadian Museum of Civilization
P.O. Box 3100, Station B
Hull, Quebec J8X 4H2
819-776-8294

Hands on! Exhibits include; The Great Adventure - "takes children on a worldwide trip where they encounter exciting locations, interesting people and enticing activities. From the moment they pick up their passports, they discover one incredible destination after another. We help them plan their trip, or they can design their own itineraries. Whether it's a trek through the desert to a pyramid, a jaunt to the port to help unload a cargo ship, or a stroll through the bustling market bazaar, children will encounter endless ways to learn about the world and gain an understanding of each other." Kaleidoscope, Drive into the Past, Crossroads, Embassy, The International Village which includes;
o Nigeria
o Toys and Games
o Mexico
o Market Bazaar
o In The Desert
o India
o Communictaions Tent
o Kid's Café
o Building Works
o Clothing Company
o On The Nile

More of this Feature: Page One > Page Two > Page Three

© Amanda Formaro

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