NOTIt’s time to have fun at Hands on Children Museum(HOCM) Summer Splash! Festival. It’s a summer full of non-stop special activities designed to stimulate bodies and brains that kids and adults alike will love. Do you have a penchant for falcons or dream of meeting a princess? Whether you’re a painter, puppet enthusiast or animal lover, there are special days and programs for everyone all summer long thanks to WSECU.
Throughout July, during Bubble Mania, guests can create bubbles of all shapes and sizes, even those large enough to stand inside. Search for fossils and gems using water and a sifting box at Treasure Sluice. Bake a mud pie on Mondays, explore kitchen utensils on Tuesdays, and skate in your socks every day. Show up for great summer fun throughout July, August and even into September. “Each week we offer families a new adventure,” says Beth Garson, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.
Summer splash! at the Children’s Museum also offers several days with special guests throughout the summer, you’ll want to get your tickets now for several days of fun! Special guests are sponsored by Small to Large Pediatric Dentistry.
July 6 and August 31: Le Fauconnier
John Prucich brings birds of prey, like a great horned owl and a falcon, for a fascinating encounter. Learn about the many ways these magnificent birds are an integral part of our environment. “The kids are so focused when John interacts with them,” says Madison Peters, visitor engagement manager, who has seen him in action.
July 9 and August 28: Magician Jeff Evans
Blending magic and science, prepare to be wowed by the local favorite Jeff Evans. “I don’t reveal secrets, but the science is just as amazing, and I can show and tell,” says Jeff. Jeff performs for all ages and loves seeing the kids light up with their excitement. Between shows, he’ll roam the grounds, interact with guests and give close-up demos.
July 11-17: Solar Days
Enjoy a week filled with activities powered by the sun. Play with or connect solar circuits for free or create your own solar-powered bug for $12. Then watch the sunlight create a cool chemical reaction as you place leaves and flowers on specialty paper to make solar prints. Make a small greenhouse collar while waiting for the print to develop. Olympia community solar will be on site with solar-powered toys on Saturday, July 16.
15-22 July: sailboat regatta
Ahoy, sailors! Make your own miniature boats and sails out of recycled materials, then set the sails to test if they’re seaworthy. The event is sponsored by dairy queen in partnership with the Olympia Yacht Club.
July 15-16, August 17 and September 2: Olympia Beekeepers Association
“It’s really fun to see the observation hive“, explains Madison. You will be face to face with bees and discover the role they play in our world. We would not have much food without them!
July 23-24: Rick Hartman Toy School
Manufacturer of educational toys grinding wheel Hartman brings his captivating School of Toy workshop to the Outdoor Discovery Center for two days of creative fun. Children will use science, engineering and math to design and create their own wooden toy to take home.
July 23 and August 6: Costumed characters
The costumed Brave Princess will be in ceremonial dress so everyone can meet. What a great photoshoot! The activity is paired with archery. “Kids go crazy over our costumed characters,” says Madison. Meet Princess Wayfinder on August 6.
July 25-28: Puppet building with string and shadow puppet theater
Meet members of the local string and shadow puppet theater and learn their tricks for building puppets. Children will create their own recycled puppet to take home in this workshop.
July 29-30: Nature painting with artist Isobel Coney
Try creating natural paint and stains from the contents of your fridge with Isobel Coney. Learn how to use red cabbage, spinach, beets, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables to paint, then create an original work of art. Isobel is an experienced person outdoor art educator.
July 30-31: LEGO Build with Dan Parker
Join professional LEGO builder Dan Parker for two fun-filled days creating castle landscapes. Discover the architecture of the castle while developing new skills and ideas alongside other builders with over 150,000 LEGO pieces at your fingertips. Children under four can also enjoy a safe toddler play area. Dan will work alongside its builders. “Learn his tips and tricks, ask questions, and take a picture with him,” says Beth Garson, HOCM’s marketing and communications manager.
August 5: Animal Encounters: Mini-Farm
Although rural and agricultural areas surround Olympia, many have never come near an animal other than a dog or cat. Now is your chance! Meet chickens, bunnies, goats and other cuddly creatures, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This event takes place on the first Friday, which means people can enter the Museum for $1 each from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
August 12-13: Climbing wall
Test your skills on a 25 foot rock climbing wall. “It’s always a big draw,” Beth says. “Some kids are fearless and run straight to the top. Others are more cautious, planning every step and getting a huge boost of confidence when they reach the top. Kids are harnessed, have spotters to scale the wall safely. security and ring the bell at the top.
August 18-20: Artist Mimi Williams
local artist Mimi Williams works exclusively in cut linoleum block printing. She will share her skills and expertise with guests in this fun interactive workshop. The Museum is delighted to offer several artist workshops this summer, including block printing, puppet making and natural painting, as part of its Artist-in-Residence Series sponsored by the City of Olympia.
August 24 and September 2: Indigenous Storyteller Itsa Shash
“Itsa is so expressive and engaging, you get caught up in his stories and love helping bring his words to life,” Madison remarks. You might find yourself stomping like a bear or standing tall like a tree. He’s a storytellerpoet, musician and singer, sponsored by Nisqually Tribe.
Check Hands on Children Museum website for all the details, then mark your calendars for all the fun days ahead. The museum offers 26 different programs to help families with the entrance fees. Those with EBT cards get the first two people free, and additional family members are $2 each. The first Friday night of each month allows people to visit from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for just $1 each. For families with a child sensitive to stimulationthere’s a low, quiet Sensory Room, available Friday through Sunday, and the museum opens early for the Friendly Sensory Hour at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings, presented by Premera.
Bring your family and visitors to the HOCM Summer Splash! “It’s a bright spot in our community and creates joy for people of all ages,” said Special Guest Sponsor, Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Maureen Callender.
Happy Adventures to all.
Hands on Children Museum
414 Jefferson NE Olympia