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Put on your play clothes, hop in the car and get ready to get up to your elbows in learning at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, Wash. The most-visited children’s museum in Washington State, Hands On boasts a new 28,000-square-foot facility with eight themed galleries, a half-acre outdoor Discovery Center and more than 150 interactive exhibits. Follow your child under the Puget Sound Cargo Ship to explore sea life. Or scramble up the Tides-to-Trees Climber all the way up to a life-sized eagle’s nest.
If you have a mini-Picasso on your hands, head over to the Arts & Parts Studio to make masks, sculpt with clay or build robots from recycled art materials. Or, tinker away an afternoon in the MakeSpace. Use tools to silk screen a T-shirt or craft with glue guns. Shop in the replica Farmers Market or take turns driving the Police Squad Car or Fire Truck. You can expand the fun to the outdoors and play hide-and-seek in the Raccoon Run or build your own Driftwood Fort. Get outside and chase each other around the Trike-and-Hike Loop and dig with dump trucks in the gravel pit. With two floors of fun, it’s a great place for birthday parties and school field trips.
In addition to its exhibits, Hands On offers a variety of programming, from half-day camps during school breaks, to monthly parenting workshops. Environmentally friendly in word and in practice, the Hands On Children’s Museum is a leader in green construction and is the first Green Globes-certified Children’s Museum in the Western Hemisphere.
As a nonprofit organization, Hands On is so committed to learning that it offers Free Friday Nights to families to try out the museum. This means free admission for all every first Friday of the month from 5-9 p.m. Hands On Children’s Museum brings families together from all over the country, because learning is always better when it’s hands on.