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.
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History showcases a wealth of knowledge about the living world with focus on anthropology, zoology, and paleontology. On the Museum's second floor, the hall of evolution houses fossils and dioramas of dinosaurs, prehistoric whales, and mastodons. On the third and fourth floors, a wildlife gallery explores Michigan's native flora and fauna through taxidermy mounts and habitat scenes, anthropology displays feature archeological finds from around the world, and geology exhibits highlight colorful amethyst clusters and sparkling pyrite crystals. The butterfly garden provides a living example of the natural world. Its 55 herbaceous perennials—including goldenrod, black-eyed Susan and spicebush—attract butterflies through all four of their life stages, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to fully grown winged beauties.
Extending its reach beyond the galaxy, the Museum's recently renovated planetarium projects the night sky on a dome. Sitting under the curved screen, visitors can travel to the most distant reaches of the universe. As part of its efforts to get families involved in hands-on learning, the Museum also runs weekend demonstrations, leads dinosaur tours, and partners with local libraries for its family reading and science program.
One hundred fifty years in the making, the permanent collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art now totals more than 19,000 pieces. Displayed throughout the museum's galleries, those collected masterpieces include canvases by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as a 1638 self-portrait by Rembrandt. Far from a narrow representation of the art world, the museum asks questions about the global nature of art by juxtaposing the aforementioned artists alongside African work, Indian bronzes, and Chinese ceramics.
After exploring the museum's permanent and special exhibitions, visitors can decompress at the DialogTable. Not only does the interactive table show guests films about the art they've seen, but it can also answer the age-old question "what is being a table like?" To supplement its exhibits, the museum hosts numerous programs and events every year, ranging from student programming and a reading series to artist talks and art-making workshops. The artistic attractions even spill through the museum doors with seven sculptures surrounding the building.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Ransom Eli Olds was certainly one of Lansing's most prolific citizens. The inventor, entrepreneur, and financier helped revolutionize the automobile industry, specifically through the two companies he founded in the area: Olds Motor Works in 1897 and REO Motor Car Company in 1904.
In The Kingman Museum’s newly opened mezzanine exhibit, a polar bear, frozen mid-snarl, presides over his fellow Ice Age beasts. Surrounding this tableau are glass cases filled with fanged skulls of extinct predators, prehistoric pottery, and miniature replicas of ecosystems. The eclectic exhibits lend the room the aura of a cabinet of curiosities, and are indicative of The Kingman Museum’s expansive mission to “provide lifelong learning opportunities in natural history, the universe, and world cultures for all ages for all time.” The scope of the museum reflects the swashbuckling spirit of its founder, Edward Morris Brigham. In the late 1800s, the explorer embarked on expeditions down the Amazon River, hiked across the Alaska tundra, and hopscotched across Hawaiian Islands. He toted back with him exotic specimens, fossils, and cultural artifacts, which now form the core of the museum’s collection. Over the years, the museum has expanded to include a planetarium, which screens nearly two dozen educational films that range from deep-space exploration to quests for the long-lost city of Pittsburgh. Additionally, museum curators inspire young minds with a slew of educational programs.