Kalamazoo Nature Center's 14-mile expanse of trails weaves around 1,100 acres of ponds, prairies, and forests, giving nature lovers of all ages an ample arena to hike, learn, and explore one of the first nature centers in the country. Membership allows unlimited free admission to the preserve so that visitors can soak up a diverse array of wild flowers, birds, and majestic park benches in natural habitat. Kalamazoo hosts a slew of family and children activities on select Saturdays, such as "Story Corner at the Barn," during which a storyteller corrals tykes aged 8 and younger for visits with sheep, goats, and barnyard residents before and after reading them pastoral tales. Additionally, Kalamazoo Nature Center members receive a 10% discount at Expedition Gift Shop, a bimonthly newsletter subscription, and discounts on youth camps for ages 3–17.
Vintage vehicles have been motoring into the Gilmore's antique buildings since 1966, bequeathing their retired chassis to the museum's collection of more than 200 horseless carriages. The classic chariots reside in more than two-dozen relocated, reconstructed edifices, including eight historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, and a Mayan pyramid no one remembers erecting. The retro rides are occasionally cut loose for driving demonstrations on the 3 miles of paved roads contained within the museum grounds, filling the ears of visitors with the thrilling thrum of yesteryear. The campus also houses several transplanted collections, including the Model A Ford collection featuring cars invented 19 letters before the Model T. Though not included with this Groupon, day-trippers can sustain themselves with lunch served at the pristinely preserved Blue Moon Diner. Surfeited seekers of knowledge may then head to the Gilmore Car Museum Library to gorge their brains on the pickled publications and preserved prints. The collection houses thousands of items and articles, including owner's manuals, parts books, and pinups of scantily clad cars. Plan ahead and catch a special event to see even more historical hot rods than are kept on site.
With more than 30 interactive exhibits and activities, Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum provides a safe environment for youngsters to exercise their imaginations and bodies. A veritable microcosm of the world lives between the museum's walls. For instance, a grocery exhibit stocked with produce and frozen goods allows children to fill up their carts, run the checkout lane, and refuse expired coupons. An 8'x16' climbing wall challenges youth to literally reach for new heights of achievement, and an art room equipped with an accessible easel and large-handled paintbrushes invites them to figuratively jump for the sky. As a further enticement to the arts, a drama area encourages wee ones to create puppet shows and dress up in costumes.
Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum coordinates with area schools to incorporate and add to the themes from the local education curriculum, helping to reinforce the most important lessons kids are learning. Like NASA's recruitment department, this nonprofit's focus is on children aged 10 months to 10 years.
R.E. Olds Transportation Museum dedicates its collection of automobiles and memorabilia to remembering the career of Lansing automotive entrepreneur and pioneer Ransom Eli Olds. A cavalcade of 52 cars from 1886 to 2003 inspire vehicular nostalgia, such as the 1186 Oldsmobile steam carriage and the 2003 Cadillac CTS. Exhibits such as a vintage filling station illuminate realities and lore surrounding automotive history, and complement classic Oldsmobile buggies, bicycles, and trucks. Take home memories from the on-site gift shop bursting with curios, collectibles, apparel, and small cans of car oats.
Impression 5 Science Center provides future Galileos and budding Copernicuses with a vast assortment of hands-on learning opportunities and participatory exhibits. The newly installed Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body will remain displayed until May 15, so young scientists can examine the ins and outs of bodies while learning anatomical trivia, including that Einstein's brain was 10 times bigger than the average mustache. After winding their way through a bevy of exhibits⎯including Throwing Things, which examines energy transference without tranquilizing textbooks⎯explorers can duck into a slime-making workshop to create their own gelatinous blobs. A member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Impression 5 Science Center strives to give guests a chance to learn by doing, acting, and creating, and its enthustiastic staff works to ensure a productive visit for all visitors.