ABC57 Road Trip: Fun for all ages at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
KALAMAZOO, Mich., --- Our ABC57 Road Trip team headed north to visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, started more than 140 years ago.
“This is just a really good place to kind of identify and figure out some of life's concepts when it comes to things like physics, or art, or history is like a one stop shop for learning,” said Adrian Littleton, a parent who brought his young daughter Camilla to the museum.
The free community museum opened back in 1881 in the basement of a public library.
Fast forward almost a century and a half, the now state-of-the-art facility sits in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo and features three levels of interactive exhibits.
“You can go to the first floor; we have a flyswatter exhibit called splat...a huge collection of over 3000 fly swatters, including many from the United States,” said Bill McElhone, the director of the museum. “We also have another exhibit called Science on a Sphere at the globe with the planets in our universe...and then of course we have a planetarium.”
Those unique exhibits are just some of what the entire museum has to offer.
The second-floor features experiences like a Children’s Landscape and Innovation Lab, activities that challenge kids like Camilla even at a young age.
“It’s usually just something to get her mind engaged and get her interacting with stuff like you see, we're building the marble trail over here,” said Littleton.
The museum also highlights history by showcasing things unique to Kalamazoo, like the iconic Gibson Guitar, whose factory roots were right in the city.
The third and final floor of the museum wraps up a world of experiences.
“We have a mummy here, mystery of the mummy exhibit,” said McElhone. “On the third floor we have an exhibit called Explore Your World and it's all about exploring the world around us from under sea, to above ground, through the air and all again very interactive opportunities.”
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s biggest goal is to provide a free community space for innovative learning.
“It’s not a static display of historic things behind glass, it’s going to be really engaging. We really want people to feel and play with the interactive,” explained McElhone.
“Just the level of interaction that you can get been here with the different activities and exhibits. It's just a solid place to go,” added Littleton.
The museum offers free general admission and changes its exhibits every three to four months.
It also features a rain garden outside so there is something to see even when its doors aren't open.
For more information or to plan a visit, click here.