The Haggin Museum’s redbrick pediment has cast its shadow on the grassy expanses of Victory Park since 1931. Though not much has changed in its outward appearance, the museum’s collection of fine artworks and historical artifacts has continued to evolve. Recent decades have brought new landscapes, portraits, and commercial artworks to the art wing, where one can view American painter Albert Bierstadt's stunning Yosemite landscapes alongside the iconic images of J. C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell’s predecessor at the Saturday Evening Post. The history galleries cast a spotlight on how Stockton has shifted and grown over the past 150 years. The finely curated exhibits craft a seamless narrative that begins with the pre-pioneer lifestyle of an average Native American family.
Lego cars zip down ramps, giant bubbles bobble in the air, and lightning strikes inside a glass orb. At World of Wonders, these are just a few of the more than 50 hands-on experiments designed to excite the imagination and nurture a love of science.
The World of Wonders opened in March of 2009. There, kids and adults learn how light, sound, motion, and sight work at manipulative exhibits such as the shake table, which shows how buildings can withstand earthquakes. By placing one hand on a copper plate and the other on an aluminum plate, visitors learn how their bodies are conduits for electrons while observing their electric current on a meter. It's permanent features like these, as well as rotating events, that inspire the minds of future engineers, astronauts, and mad scientists whose Frankenstein-like creations are actually just misunderstood by society.
The Serpentarium Retail makes caring for pet snakes and reptiles easy with a vast stock of habitats, decor, and food. The team can furnish all of your needs, starting with a terrarium and bedding for comfort, misters to keep the air moist, and canned crickets that make healthy snacks.
A whirlpool drags boats into the watery abyss. Racecars vie for supremacy on a track. Inexorable gears grind in a vast and purposeless machine. These are not the dreams of a dozing Rube Goldberg, but the interactive exhibits at the Sacramento Children's Museum. Next to the fluid-dynamics room, where child Poseidons subject boats to their tidal whims, a solar-powered raceway and an interactive gear assembly teach important lessons about the forces that keep the natural world moving when it would much rather be eating Almond Joys. These entertaining, hands-on experiences with scientific fundamentals are bolstered by the museum's calendar of events. Regular showcases such as story time, cultural-history lessons, and exercise classes intersperse children's-museum interaction with traditional word-of-mouth learning sessions.
The Blackhawk Museum shines the spotlight on historically significant classic automobiles, showcasing more than 90 one-of-a-kind cars from every era of driving history. Automotive archivists display jewels of internal combustion with their expansive 70,000-square-foot facility, which sprawls over two floors and four dramatically lit exhibition galleries filled with iron horses polished to a high gloss. Knowledgeable docents mill about the gleaming, custom Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, and Rolls Royces, ready to answer questions about engine sizes, production specs, and whether ejector seats come equipped with parachutes. The Blackhawk Museum also houses a host of rotating exhibits, including nonvehicular attractions such as Jukebox Saturday Night's nostalgia-packed collection of classic music makers. A museum store and automotive reference library complete the learning experience, filling visitors' hearts with glee, brains with knowledge, and gas-powered cats with premium conventional oil.
On Sunday, February 24, runners get up at the crack of dawn to embark on a journey through downtown Niles, which begins at 7:30 a.m. The flat courses send participants snaking in and out of the bustling streets and along the lakes of the Bay Area burg. During both the half marathon and the 5K, supporters line the courses, cheering on the runners with shouts of encouragement and signs reminding them to never run from their problems. In the 12 weeks leading up to the races, a running coach from Stanford University leads free training sessions for runners of all levels. This helps athletes perfect their times so they can have something to celebrate at the finish-line party.