Sandcastles Children's Museum
New! Winter and Spring Hours in 2014
We will open for Beat the Winter Blahs on February 15, 21 and 22.
Spring break hours, are Friday, March 28-Saturday, April 12 when we are open 9:30am-1pm Fridays and 9:30am-5pm Saturdays (closed Sundays).
Spring Hours are Fridays 9:30am-1pm and Saturdays 9:30am-5pm on April 18, 19, 25 & 26 and May 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24.
We will open for the summer season on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014.
BRAND NEW IN 2014--AN LGB ELECTRIC TRAIN
The exhibits at Sandcastles keep growing, thanks to local volunteers. There are now 19 exhibits in all, inviting hands-on interaction for children from birth to 12 years old. John Bloomquist of Chicago just 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. In 2013, an actual 1958 Cessna 172, titled "Take Flight," was purchased and then donated by the Mason County Pilots Association.
Also new is "Egypt" featuring 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 is donating their own exhibit to Sandcastles. They are building a two-story bilingual dollhouse, where half the house will be 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.
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, Sand Box, 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!
HISTORY 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 21,000 in 2012. They first occupied a small building on South James Street, then moved to a larger facility four times bigger on W. Ludington Ave. Now they have found a permanent home in the former Elks Lodge, corner of N. Harrison and Ludington Avenue. Through donations and many volunteers, the building is being renovated to make it into a kid-friendly museum.
If you would like to 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
For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and Riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. Guided tours of the dunes are also available.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River or enjoy the Summer Concert Series, which includes a performance by the famous Scottville Clown Band.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe or kayak rentals, so you can leisurely navigate this National Wild and Scenic River.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced West Michigan Business Directory for a larger list of Things to Do in West Michigan.