Volunteers Needed at Sandcastles Children's Museum!

Sandcastles Children's Museum in downtown Ludington is looking for enthusiastic, kids at heart to volunteer at the establishment during the summer!

The museum is open seven days a week and volunteer shifts are 2 1/2 hours, once per week. Volunteers are responsible for keeping the museum exhibits restocked and tidy as well as interacting with children and parents.

Please e-mail dponko@charter.net or call (231) 843-3323 for more information.

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Adult Night at the Museum

Save the date for the next Night at the Museum, exclusively for "grown-ups"! The event is slated for Saturday, September 17th and promises to be a "glowing" evening. There will be live music on the deck and great food. Stay tuned for more information!


The Story of Sandcastles Children's Museum

Sandcastles Children's Museum has been in operation since 2006, and first began as a "summer sampler museum." Visitation to the Museum has grown from 1,500 its first year to more than 20,000 annually since 2011. They first occupied a small building on South James Street, then moved to a larger facility four times bigger on West Ludington Avenue.

Now they have found a permanent home in the former Elks Lodge, at the corner of North Harrison and Ludington Avenue. Through donations and many volunteers, the building has been renovated to transform it into a kid-friendly and sought after destination.

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Seasonal Hours

Summer Hours
Summer hours are Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Fall Hours
Fall hours begin after Labor Day and are Fridays from 9:30am-1pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-3pm.

Winter/Spring Hours
Fridays from 9:30am-1pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-3pm

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2016 Family Memberships

gift certificate
For $90 per family, which includes admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children from the same household, your family will be able to visit Sandcastles Children's Museum anytime during open hours from February 12th-December 31st, 2016. Visit Sandcastles Children's Museum or call (231) 233-9326 for more information.

Sandcastles Attractions

The exhibits at Sandcastles keep growing, thanks to local volunteers. The exhibits invite hands-on interaction for children from birth to 12 years old. John Bloomquist of Chicago has donated an LGB electric train to Sandcastles.
It adorns the rim around the dome of the upper play level of the museum, so children can see it, but not get hurt. There is even a train whistle that kids can pull.

The water table at Sandcastles has new features, thanks to a grant from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund. Now called a Stream Table, children can see how erosion occurs and how rivers are shaped and changed. In another area, they can make animal tracks in wet sand and a plaster mold of them to take home.

The Little Castles Puppet Playhouse is the new puppet stage sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. Puppet Shows are at 11am Tuesdays and Puppet Playtime is from 10am-12pm Thursdays in the lower level.

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In 2013, an actual 1958 Cessna 172 was purchased and then donated to Sandcastles by the Mason County Pilots Association. To go along with the Cessna is a Control Tower, where kids can use radios, lights, and sounds to communicate with whoever is "flying" the plane. Kids get their own passports and experience going through customs and a baggage claim area.

Another exhibit, "Egypt", features sarcophagi and a station where kids can create their own hieroglyphics. An archeological dig with sand and pulleys complete the "Egyptian" feel of this exhibit. The West Shore ESD career tech program donated its own exhibit to Sandcastles. They also built a two-story bilingual dollhouse, where half the house is labeled in Spanish and the other half in English.

Exhibits added in 2012 were the Bouldering Wall, a horizontal climbing wall presenting a new kind of challenge and fun for Sandcastles visitors; a Saltwater Fish Tank Watch with new fish and other sea life added throughout the year; and Construction Zone, where children can build creations of all kinds using less common building toys as well as some old favorites.

Check out the Badger Play Ship modeled after the S.S. Badger carferry and featuring a slide. Children are captivated by its many attractions, including real instruments, a wheelhouse, space to drive cars on and off, plus nooks and crannies to play in. A telescope is used to find the hide and seek animals along the top of the climbing wall, located across from the playship Badger.

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Fun Activities!

Other great activities for kids include the interactive Michigan Tree House, the Vet Center, Discovery Bins, Post Office, Theater Stage and Dressing Room, Art Center, Ice Cream Parlor & Pizza Restaurant, and Grocery Store. At the Planting Gardens, children can pick and pull vegetables and learn how they grow. The bubble table lets kids create giant bubbles, perfect for popping!

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Contact Sandcastles or Make a Donation

If you would like make a donation to Sandcastles, you may write a check to the Community Foundation for Mason County and send it to Sandcastles at P.O. Box 595, Ludington, MI 49431. Or go online to mason-foundation.org to make a credit card donation directly to the Sandcastles Capital Campaign fund.

For more information, contact:
Sandcastles Children's Museum
129 E. Ludington Ave.
Ludington, MI 49431
(231) 233-9326

Want to learn more about all things family in West Michigan? Visit Lakeshore Family Guide and "Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeshoreFamilyGuide

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Last Updated: 08-27-2016 01:12 PM ID: 159