Friday, June 10, 2011

For the Kids! Lakeshore Museum Center

The school year is coming to an end and pretty soon the kids will be burning your ears with the dreaded words “I’m bored”. They have only been out of school for two days and yet, for some reason have already run out of things to do.

We are here to help.

West Michigan has endless opportunities for children and their families. Museums, amusement parks, water parks, zoos, ferries and theatres are just naming a few. Check back frequently as we highlight places that are great for kids! If you are on twitter, follow our feed #wmkids where we will continually be putting up great ideas for kids.

This week we are going to start with the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon. Shannon and I were lucky enough to have been able to visit the museum this past November. The museum looks small from the outside, but we were blown away by how much was in the museum! The greatest part about the Lakeshore Museum Center is that it is absolutely FREE! There is no admission fee for anyone- how cool is that?

The museum has continuing exhibits as well as changing exhibits. There are six continuing exhibits

Coming to the Lakes- Follow a group of people from different ethnic backgrounds through a 10,000-year journey. Learn how people have lived in different parts of our region and the influences that have affected their lives. There is even a full size Mastodon replica!

Michigan: From the Depths of Time- This is a fantastic room that gives the impression of being underwater. The exhibit travels through the depths of time to see the plants and animals that lived in the habitats of Michigan’s distant past. 

             Body Works- This exhibit shows people of all ages how the human body
works. This exhibit promotes healthy eating and living by explaining through different hands-on activities how the way we live and the different foods we eat affect our bodies.

Habitats and Food Webs- This exhibit discovers the relationships between plants and animals that live in Muskegon County and the food webs they create. Explore wetlands, urban backyards, grasslands, and dune habitats to find out what plants and animals consume to survive.

Hackley and Hume Site
Science Center- Learn about simple science through hands-on activities! Ride a bike to produce electricity, learn how a pulley system works, and so much more.

The museum also has three historic sites that are open May- October and are within walking distance of the main building.

The Hackley and Hume site preserves the homes of Muskegon's most famous lumber baron, Charles H. Hackley, and his business partner, Thomas Hume. The Site envelops the visitor in a unique living space, bringing late 19th century craftsmanship to life. Also going on right now At the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, the museum is featuring an exhibit in the City Barn – “Unsolved Mysteries: The Shipwreck Thomas Hume”.  The exhibit explores the loss of the Lumber Baron’s schooner in Lake Michigan 120 years ago.  Divers located the wreck in 2006. Surprising discoveries such as intact clothing, shoes, coins, jewelry, and other historic treasures have provided new insights into the shipment of lumber on Lake Michigan and how the crew lived, worked, and died on the Lake. 

Fire Barn and Scolnik House

The Scolnik House is a historic house of the depression era that tells the story of two common families living under the same roof during the Great Depression.

The Fire Barn Museum serves as a living memorial to the brave men and women who have served as Muskegon County firefighters. The second floor was restored over the winter and now features a replica of a living quarters area for the firemen.  The museum features historic firefighting equipment and photographs of some of Muskegon’s worst fires.  

The Hackley and Hume houses cost $3 to visit (children 12 and under are free). The Scolnik House and Fire Barn have free admission.

The museum is open Monday thru Friday - 9:30am to 4:30pm and
Saturday and Sunday - 12:00 to 4:00pm.

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