Kids can’t be expected to care about their health when video games, cartoons, and outdoor adventures are vying for their attention. That’s why the adult leaders of the Memorial Health Foundation devised a plan to get kids excited about health: HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum. Born of the founders’ desire to foster a healthier current and future community, the museum appeals to youngsters through educational forms of entertainment. Its exhibits incorporate amplified versions of many of kids’ favorite pastimes, including a life-sized rendition of Operation and numerous computer games. A rock-climbing wall and tree house with a slide encourage kids to learn through movement, which is exactly how adults learn how to escape charging bulls. Youngsters can explore the space with their families or partake in programs such as children's camps.
The Studebaker National Museum highlights the company's successful transition from carriages to autos with three levels and 55,000 square feet of classic cars and historic vehicles. The space displays up to 70 vehicles at any time from its collection of 120 antiques. Expertly unearthed treasures include the 1956 Packard Predictor, the 1934 Bendix SWC, and the 1922 Carriageless Horse, unpopular for its inability to transport entire little league teams. The Presidential carriage collection is one of the nation's largest, exhibiting the chassis of four former chiefs. Another current exhibition on display through April showcases recognizable wheels extracted from both big and small screens, including Herbie from The Love Bug film series, and The General Lee from television's The Dukes of Hazzard. A fully-stocked museum store offers a selection of videos, books, apparel, and collectibles that allow auto aficionados to create miniature Studebaker menageries in their own garages.
The Beaux Arts Ball After Party evokes the artists' balls of the 1920s and '30s as guests don costumes and dance to celebrate the avant garde artists and fashion designers whose ideas evolved costumes into wearable art. Guests strut their stuff in outrageous costumes during the Beaux Arts Grand Procession as they contend for prizes from South Bend's local dining and entertainment hotspots. Guests can rub elbows or velvety antlers with newly crowned Lifetime Achievement recipients Mayor Steve Luecke and sculptor Tuck Langland while sipping adult beverages from a cash bar, munching on sweet treats, and mingling in support of the South Bend Art Museum. Toes tap as the live tunes of The Marquis with Terry Austin float in and out of aural canals, much like the advice of a loving Q-tip.
An individual membership to the National Military History Center grants one individual and one guest free admission to its family of museums during normal business days and events (some events may require an additional admission fee):
Inhabiting the former Auburn Automobile Company's national headquarters, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum brings visitors up to speed on highway history through interactive exhibits and a collection of more than 120 cars from the 19th and 20th centuries. Six galleries of fine automobiles adorn the space, each with a different theme and rotating assortment of retro roadsters. The Gallery of Classics houses a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Murphy convertible sedan, one of only 32 such examples bodied by the Walter M. Murphy Company that year. Non-automobile galleries range from a Clay Model Studio and a Hall of Technology to the original Auburn conference room, honoring art deco ingenuity with classic built-in banker’s lamps and chalkboard sketches for a flying car powered by the sound of jazz trumpet.
Science Central teaches all ages about scientific methods with hands-on exhibits and activities. An admission-granting membership, which provides free admission to two adults and six children under 18, opens the learning shutters so parents and children can discover how to think scientifically. Permanent exhibition schedules rotate on weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and feature a tidal pool, giant slide, moonwalk, the Mind's Eye Gallery of interactive puzzles, and the Prediction Gallery, which lets kids be pretend-meteorologists pretending to predict pretend weather. The current temporary exhibit area will be filled with Me–The Medical Marvel, 1,500 feet worth of brain kernels about blood, old-timey medical devices, nutrition, AIDS, and the relationship between height and the ability to spell, for the duration of 2010. Preview a virtual museum here.