Submitted by Hands On Children’s Museum

The Hands On Children’s Museum, Washington’s award-winning youth museum, will launch Summer Splash! its third annual summer-long festival of fun this Saturday, June 23.  Each month the Festival includes headline events, fire and water adventures, live performers, unique activities and special guests—all designed to keep children engaged and learning throughout the summer when learning loss is at its peak.

To kick-off the festival, Hands On will close the street adjacent to the Museum for the Fire Rescue Spectacular, a one-day special event in partnership with the Olympia Fire Department.

Young visitors can meet local firefighters and climb aboard giant fire engines, see a fireboat in action, tour the Spray Gallery and participate in the Junior Firefighter challenge that includes a bucket brigade, the chance to spray a real fire hose, and a hose rolling relay. Kids can also enjoy free mini ice cream cones and meet Sparky the costumed fire dog.

“Creating quality, interactive learning experiences is at the heart of everything we do,” says Patty Belmonte, the Museum’s Executive Director. “This summer we are thrilled to give children the chance to experience a rich array of art and science guests and activities–so that they can learn something new each time they visit.”

A highlight of the summer-long festival is the Riveropolis traveling exhibit featured for the first time in the Northwest July 19-August 17. The 35-foot moving river inspires endless investigation and experimentation. At nearby tinkering stations, children can build bridges and boats and use natural materials to explore how water works.

The Museum of Glass Hot Shop, a mobile glassblowing studio, will be featured at Hands On August 9-11. Visitors can watch live glassmaking demonstrations by master glass artists and learn how molten glass can be shaped. Children can create their own glass inspired Shrinky Dink sculptures at a nearby activity station.

Other event highlights include the Cork Boat Regatta July 19-22 and Aug.15-17, a live Canoe Carving Demonstration July 20 with Taylor Krise from the Squaxin Island Tribe, and exciting Stilts and Fire Spinning performances July 28 & August 18. The Rock Wall climb will be on site Aug. 1-4. Kids can Meet a Mermaid Aug. 11, make and cook in a solar oven during Solar Days Aug. 18 & 19, and explore a T-28 vintage airplane on loan from the Olympic Museum of Flight Aug. 22 & 23. The Giant Sand Castle will be featured all summer for painting daily, and Mud Pie Mondays will be offered every week. For a full schedule of Festival events and activities, visit

Summer Splash! activities are free to the public with Museum admission or membership. EBT cardholders get free and reduced admission daily. The Museum also offers free admission to all from 5 to 9 p.m. on the First Fridays of each month.

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