Showcasing hands-on, interactive exhibits, the nonprofit Georgia Children’s Museum sparks an enthusiasm for learning in visitors between the ages of 2 and 12. Youngsters can design a newspaper page in the journalism exhibit, anchor a news broadcast in the TV studio, or curl up with a book in the hushed confines of the reading room. Meanwhile, in the internationally themed Passport to the World exhibit, tykes don authentic kimonos, beat handmade African drums, and discover how Magellan built the blimp that he used to circumnavigate the globe. The Smarty Pants Gift Shop stocks glass pendant necklaces and Magna Morphs toys, whose sets of animal parts can be reassembled into new, imaginary creatures. Above the store, in the Little Learners’ Loft, kids aged 2 to 5 enhance their make-believe skills with age-appropriate toys. Along with its permanent exhibits, Georgia Children’s Museum accommodates kids with events and weekly activities, including craft and story times.
With more than 43,000 square feet of wall space displaying more than 3,000 different sports artifacts and memorabilia, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the state’s greatest swimmers, skiers, shooters, short stops, and more. An ever-rotating range of exhibits fills the hallowed sports halls of this Macon museum, where more than 300 athletes are applauded for their athletic endeavors and record-setting jaw lines. Members gain access to GSHF's February 26 induction ceremony, honoring such gaming greats as Robert Davis, Joe DeLany, and James "J.T." Thomas. On the second Saturday evenings in March, April, and May, classic sports flicks such as the Bad News Bears, Hoosiers, and Rudy play in the 205-seat GSHF Theater during the sports film series, inviting you to root for the underdog or challenging you to remain staunchly neutral. Additional member benefits include 10% off at the museum gift shop, invitations to important museum events, and two guest passes. Museum members must give the Sports Hall of Fame their e-mail address in order to receive event invitations.
Since 1981, the Tubman African American Museum has educated, enriched, and challenged visitors with permanent and special exhibitions dedicated to African American art, history, and culture. The museum, which is named in honor of Civil War heroine Harriet Tubman, showcases a variety of permanent exhibitions, including collections of African American folk art, an inventors gallery devoted to black innovators, and a local-history exhibition focusing on African American culture in Georgia. The fine-art collection showcases opuses spanning from the 1800s through the present day. From Africa to America takes viewers on a visual journey with 55 feet of bright, surrealistic oil and acrylic mural painted by Wilfred R. Stroud, traversing from early Africa to the present day with iconic images of the people and events that shaped today’s world. A special exhibition opening July 22, 2011, Riffing on the Real: Afro-futurism in the Arts explores themes from traditional and contemporary black culture in the forms of fiction, traditional African masks, contemporary studio art, and comics. The museum's calendar delivers details on upcoming exhibitions and events.
The National Civil War Naval Museum takes modern-day visitors through the little-traveled footsteps of the sailors who fought in the Civil War, telling the story of the country's deadliest war from a naval point of view. Exhibits detail the technology and commerce that soldiers encountered, and provide a human backdrop with stories about soldiers and slaves affected by Civil War navies. Guided tours feature uniformed sailors who interpret the history of everyday life aboard a Civil War vessel or tell the story of a ship that served in the war. For a spookier outing, nighttime tours explore paranormal anomalies and analyze evidence from ghost investigations that happened in the museum.
The night's sky envelops visitors in the Coca-Cola Space Science Center like the comforting hug of an astronaut. The heavens sparkle overhead, and galaxies radiate their brilliance?but they don't always behave normally. Sometimes they travel into the past and show what the sky looked like hundreds of years ago. Other times the constellations are arranged as they'll be in some distant future. The sky's ever-changing nature is thanks to the center's Omnisphere Theater, a high-resolution domed movie screen that can project trips through the universe. Other areas of the center include the Mead Observatory and its many telescopes.
Near the end of the 18th century, Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins and the people of Americus decided a new train line was needed to ensure that their town would continue to grow and prosper. The resulting line, called the Savannah, Americus, and Montgomery, helped spur development throughout rural Georgia, and the historic SAM Shortline trains that now traverse its rails pay tribute to both the early line and its founder with the name. Vintage cars from 1949, transformed into comfortable, air-conditioned passenger liners, steer passengers through Georgia's landscape in five tours, with layovers encouraging riders to explore the towns of Plains, Americus, Leslie, and Cordele. A stop in Plains, the hometown of President Jimmy Carter, grants an up-close view of the stateman's boyhood home, campaign museum, and White House replica built entirely from peanuts. Between stops, a well-stocked commissary car lets rail-riders feast on à la carte items, including snacks, hot and cold beverages, and refreshing ice-cream treats.