When I tell my kids we’re going to the science museum, the first thing they do is race up to their rooms to look through their rock collections. Even my twelve year old is not immune to this behavior.
Since they were old enough to talk, the three of them have been bringing paper wasp nests, quartz crystals, empty Monarch chrysalises, fossils and other interesting finds to a hidden gem in the Science Museum of Minnesota: The Collector’s Corner. At this oasis of curiosities (tucked away in a corner of the Collections Gallery near the mummy,) kids can trade in their stuff for points, which allow them to “buy” other amazing items. The more science they know about the item they’re trading in, the more points they get. Luckily, they have a comfy couch for parents and grandparents to lounge on while they talk to the well-informed and friendly volunteers staffing the “Corner.”
The Science Museum of Minnesota is a great destination for those days when you don’t want to go outside, but you want to give your kids a chance to learn, explore and use their imaginations.
Every Tuesday, the Museum caters to the pre-K crowd with Preschool Playdates, where, if you purchase a regular price adult ticket, you receive a free child admission (ages 5 and under). Minnesota Children’s Museum members receive free Science Museum admission during Playdates.
These playdates include:
- Admission to the Science Museum’s exhibit galleries, packed with hands-on fun.
- Make & Take creations: Your child will use their imagination to engineer a project the museum developed especially for them!
- Special theater programs and demonstrations designed just for preschoolers.
- Parent’s guide to preschool activities and accommodations throughout the museum, including an introduction to the Collectors’ Corner trading post!
We started the day by being transported “Under the Sea” at the Omnitheater, watching sea lions frolic and giant sea turtles gobble jellyfish. (Did you know they close their eyes each time they take a bite, so they don’t get stung?) The kids loved “Real Pirates” and filled out activity sheets to win eyepatches. They especially liked playing dice and looking at the different coins in the Treasure Room!
After lunch, they brought some fossils and flint they’d found in Kansas to the Collector’s Corner and then we spent the rest of the day playing at the museum!
The new wind tunnels, where kids could fashion flying machines from paper, cups and pipe cleaners were a huge hit! I wonder if we could figure out how to make one in our kitchen. Hmmm.
I just got this email from the Science Museum of Minnesota and thought I’d share it with you. It sounds like a great way to spend Father’s Day!
Father’s Day – Sunday, June 20, 2010 – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Make: Day at the Science Museum is this Father’s Day—Sunday, June 20, 2010. Mark your calendars for the chance to meet with an astounding group of local engineers, artists, tinkerers, and inventors. They’ve been hard at work, and now they want to share their DIY creations with you.
Presentations to see, hear, and interact with include:
- A 3D Printer that makes plastic models from computer designs right before your eyes
- A potential Guinness World Record-breaking attempt using kinetic gadgets
- Musical performances by experimental musicians using custom-built instruments
- A bicycle ride across a suspended cable
- Plus a whole lot more!
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with the makers, ask them about their inventions, and learn about ways that you can get involved with local making communities. Presentations will be located throughout the museum’s exhibit galleries. The event is included with regular museum admission.
Dads get in free to Make: Day!
Make: Day is a great way to celebrate Father’s Day with the whole family. With all the amazing DIY presentations, there’s sure to be something for everyone. And don’t forget to take advantage of the incredible opportunity for dads to get in free with the Make: Day Father’s Day coupon. Just print it out and present it at the box office along with any full-price ticket purchase. The free admission is good for any exhibit combination, including the Omnitheater and The Dead Sea Scrolls. So bring your DIY (or not-so-DIY) dad down and see what’s being made!