Celebrate the Museum’s 2 Millionth Visitor on July 31



The Kalamazoo Valley Museum will celebrate its 2 millionth visitor on Wednesday, July 31. To commemorate the milestone, free museum wristbands will be given away and the Museum will host Hands-On Happenings with activities for kids.

“Wednesdays are always busy at the Museum because of our Hands-On activities, and we expect next Wednesday to be even busier and more exciting than usual,” said Bill McElhone, Kalamazoo Valley Museum Director. “We’re excited about greeting our 2 millionth visitor and overjoyed that we continue to attract crowds and entertain and educate the community.”

At noon on the 31st, the Museum will host a free showing of the movie, “Connections 1: Eat, Drink and Be Merry.” The Connections series demonstrates how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical events are built from one another and interconnected. Learn how Napoleon’s need to feed large armies led to canning, refrigeration and air conditioning, and the rocket propulsion that put man on the moon.

The Hands-On Happenings crafts and activities series also continues from noon to 4 p.m. on the 31st with the topic of food science. Children who participate will experiment and create with foods, gardening, and cooking.

The planetarium shows for the 31st are: “In My Backyard,” running at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Through story and song, children’s entertainer Fred Penner invites viewers to his backyard to explore the changes of the seasons, the concepts of day and night, our Earth, its moon, neighboring planets, and familiar constellations such as the Big Dipper. It’s a fun exploration of the world around us.

“Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” begins at 2 p.m. It tells the story of two children who build a rocket out of a cardboard box and take a fantastical voyage through the solar system with the help of a magical book and their own vivid imaginations.

“Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity” is showing at 3 p.m. Super computing technology will take you on a hunt for the ultimate cosmic monster -- to the center of a black hole, a place humans can never venture.

*Challenger Experience at 1:30 p.m.

*Challenger Voyage to Mars Mini-Mission at 3 p.m.

The special exhibit, “Eat Well, Play Well,” remains on exhibit until September 8.Visitors to the bilingual hands-on exhibit explore the worlds of nutrition and fitness by engaging with nine highly interactive areas to discover the many fun and interesting ways to stay active and make healthy food choices. “Eat Well, Play Well” is from the Oregon Museum Science Industry.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and governed by its Board of Trustees. From its beginning in 1881 as a collection of curiosities in the public library basement, the Museum has always been tax-funded. Until 1984, the Museum remained a department of the Kalamazoo Public Library. From 1984 to 1991, it received its operating support from the Kalamazoo City School District. In 1991, the Museum became part of KVCC and won the support of the community through a charter millage.

In February 1996, the Museum moved to its current downtown location when the College opened a new 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility, designed by noted architect E. Verner Johnson. It was funded by a $19.6 million dollar private capital campaign. More than 11,000 donations, ranging from $10 to $4.5 million dollars, were contributed to build and furnish the new Museum.

“We are grateful for the support of the community,” said McElhone. “Our aim is to provide richly engaging experiences for the community.”

The Museum seeks to develop cultural, historical and scientific literacy through innovative, interactive exhibits, special exhibitions, planetarium programs, educational programs and weekend family events.

For more information, go to the Museum’s website at www.kalamazoomuseum.org.