The summer is just heating up and there is no place better than the Hands On Children’s Museum Summer Splash! Festival, presented by WSECU. With the theme “Big Adventures” (sponsored by Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry) July promises to be a fun-filled learning adventure, with plenty for the entire family to enjoy together. “We are so excited to be open again to serve families in the community with hands-on learning opportunities through the summer,” shares Amy Ginsburg, senior development manager at Hands On Children’s Museum (HOCM). Make your reservations online today!

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Treasure Sluice
The new Sluicing for Treasure is a fun activity for kids of all ages! Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

All summer long, families can head to HOCM for Mud Pie Mondays, a favorite among kids who love to get their hands dirty; decorate a rock to help create the Scribble Stone River; dig for dinosaur bones in the Dino Dig; and search for hidden items in the Sluicing for Treasure exhibit, which is a bit like panning for gold and so much fun! And don’t forget to head inside and sock skate, a family favorite every summer. Read more about these fun exhibits here.

But that’s just half the fun! July is packed with a bunch of special guests and events. Each event is selected to not just be fun for the entire family, but to be educational as well.

Bubble Mania happens all month long and is a crowd favorite according to Ginsburg, and why shouldn’t it? There is nothing more fun than playing with bubbles, and HOCM has gotten the science of bubbles perfected. Science you say? Yup, they’ve figured out just the right recipe for “bubble juice” that can make a chain dozens of bubbles long, or make a bubble so big, your child can go inside! Being inside a bubble is an unforgettable experience every child will love.

July 9-10: Native Cedar Art with Mary Jane Ides

Mary Jane Ides is a beloved local artist that is always a favorite when she visits the Hands On Children’s Museum. She creates incredible art using cedar bark, shells and beads. Her designs are inspired by her Makah native traditions passed down through the generations. She will be showing families how to make their own special art piece. Visiting artists sponsored by TAS Architecture.

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Mary Jane Ides
Mary Jane Ides will be showing families how to make their own special art piece. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

July 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Olympia Poet Laureate, Ashly McBunch

Ashly McBunch is Olympia’s recently named Poet Laurete and will be visiting HOCM to get children activity engaged in poetry! McBunch uses their creativity to make poetry come alive, even for the young non-readers. They will be leading a collaborative word scavenger hunt throughout the museum.

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Ashly McBunch
Ashly McBunch is Olympia’s recently named Poet Laurete and will be visiting HOCM to get children activity engaged in poetry! Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

July 23-24: Rock Climbing Wall

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Rock Wall
The wall will be back July 23 and 24 for kids to try their courage (along with hand-eye coordination) as they are professionally guided up the 25-foot wall. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

It’s just not summer without the Hands On Children’s Museum’s rock climbing wall! “It’s always a crowd favorite,” adds Ginsburg. The wall will be back July 23 and 24 for kids to try their courage (along with hand-eye coordination) as they are professionally guided up the 25-foot wall.

July 24 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Tinker Fairy

Can you have big adventure that doesn’t include something magical? We think not! The Tinker Fairy will be visiting HOCM to greet guests. Your children can ask her questions and get their photos taken with her.

July 29, 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.: Native Storytelling with Itsa Shash

Part of the fun of an adventure is hearing the tall tales afterward! Itsa Shash is a Native American storyteller who is coming back to Summer Splash! to delight guests with tales of big adventures. “He is really engaging when he tells his stories, and really draws the families in,” shares Ginsburg. “You just are drawn up into his story and his performance. It really is something that families shouldn’t miss because it’s really special.”

July 31: Beehive Science with Lynn Brunelle

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Lynn Brunelle
Lynn Brunelle will be educating while entertaining as she teaching your kids all about the importance of bees and pollinators. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

Have a future apiarist on your hands? You might after they meet Lynn Brunelle! Brunelle is a four-time Emmy Award-winning writer for “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” and a best-selling author of many educational books on science for kids including “Turn This Book Into a Beehive!” She will be educating while entertaining as she teaching your kids all about the importance of bees and pollinators.

July 27-Aug. 1: Sailboat Regatta

Hands On Childrens Musuem Summer Splash Sailboat Regatta
Make and test your very own boat with the Sailboat Regatta. Photo courtesy: Hands On Children’s Museum

Last but not least, July closes with the favorite regatta! This year, the boats your child can make will be a sailboat, instead of the cork boats of past years. “We wanted kids to envision sailing away on big adventures,” explains Ginsburg. Your child can learn a bit about keeping a boat a float while creating their own sail, and then test the waters to see how she fares. The sailboat regatta is sponsored by Dairy Queen.

Created as a fun way to negate summer learning loss, the Summer Splash! gives your child all the fun of summer combined with learning. “We want to encourage families to come into the museum and engage on these hands-on educational opportunities,” says Ginsburg. To get in on the fun, reserve your tickets now at Hands On Children’s Museum website. As part of their commitment to keeping all families safe and healthy while learning, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network is sponsoring the Healthy Family Check In all summer long.

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