December 28, 2011

Fun at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum

Zach making snow at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum.
I was given the opportunity to check out the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum the other day. Funny thing is, my kids have been there and I never have, so it was a fun experience for all of us! We were invited to check out the Winter Games activities (There was an ice carving demonstration, the kids had fun making snow and even got to create their own pocket hand warmers.) however we stayed to play too!

My children, as most children do, LOVE to get dirty and mostly love to be involved in things. At almost 6 and 8, they are also becoming very interested in "science" type projects and experiments so the day was not wasted. We got to learn more about water, light, motion, nature - Pretty much everything you can imagine being tucked neatly into one little downtown 4-story building. The kids LOVED running from exhibit to exhibit dragging mom along, and they loved experimenting!
I think my son mostly enjoyed the WA2HOM Ham Radio operator and my daughter favored stepping into a bubble, but with so many things to see and do, it's easy to forget what your favorite might be. I certainly would have liked to be able to play more myself, or maybe explain a bit more about the science behind each of the activities, but they were too busy checking everything out.
 If you take your family, I recommend having at least 4 hours to explore - and don't worry about your child becoming bored, as there is so much to see and do.

Future Survivor contender? Gabby was challenged to catch the 4
balls before they dropped into the basket! The balls beat her though.
As a parent I would recommend tag-team parenting when you visit the AAHOM though. Even with my own two, it was hard not to get pulled into two directions; As one child found something amazing in one corner of the room, the other was running across the room finding something else! I did like though, that much of the space allows mom and dad to have a clear line-of-sight connection to their child. Another tip would be to either skip the water area on the lower level saving it to your last stop, or consider bringing a dry shirt. Even my two were all too happy to get wet!

Getting wet at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum!

I found the museum to be bright and colorful, neat and well managed. The staff was all to happy to help too! And of course my kids LOVED the gift shop...  Thankfully it's not too difficult to say yes to educational toys.

A visit to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum would be a great way to introduce out-of-town visitors to one of the many great Ann Arbor attractions while keeping your youngest visitors happy too. For those in and around town, families can always find fun, exciting and educational events and activities at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum (like this weeks Winter Games) that keep you coming back for more.

Ann Arbor Hands on Museum | 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor 48104

Museum Hours:
Mon. - Sat.: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Open Tuesdays 9:00 a.m.)
Sunday: noon - 5:00 p.m.

Museum Admission:
Members: free
Admission (ages 2 and up): $10
Under 2: free admission
ACM Travel Passport Museum Guests: free admission
ASTC Travel Passport Museum Guests: Museums within 90 miles- $5, +90 miles - free admission


  1. I'm glad to hear that your son enjoyed our amateur radio station. We love to get kids "on the air" talking to other hams around the world. We're not there all the time, but whenever we are, we invite you and other parents to stop in.

    Ham radio is a great hobby for kids.

    Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
    WA2HOM Station Manager