Sandcastles Children's Museum Now Open on Weekends
After a month-long hiatus, Sandcastles Children's Museum reopened on Friday, February 12th. Staff and volunteers have been busy with minor renovations to freshen up the establishment.
Current hours are Fridays from 9:30 am-1pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-3pm
2016 Family Memberships
Fridays from 9:30am-1pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-3pm
Summer hours begin in June and are Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.
Fall hours begin after Labor Day and are Fridays from 9:30am-1pm and Saturdays from 9:30am-3pm.
The Story of Sandcastles Children's MuseumSandcastles 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.
Sandcastles AttractionsLGB ELECTRIC TRAIN
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.
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.
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.
Contact Sandcastles or Make a DonationIf 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