California’s Bay Area is home to some stellar science centers and museums. The famous Exploratorium is a must-see, but did you know that the region is also home to the Pacific Pinball Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the GLBT Historical Society? And while I’ve never actually visited Lawrence Hall of Science, I’ve been a fan for years: Their GEMS curriculum was the basis for many awesome homeschool co-op classes. (Forensic science for the win!)
Teen library patrons in Alameda County, California can earn free entry to these venues and more with the Discover and Go program. Part of the Contra Costa Library’s summer reading program, patrons 15 years and older can earn free or discounted passes to explore local museums or cultural institutions simply by reading. Offers and availability vary by venue, but this is a great opportunity to explore some undiscovered gems.
Not in Alameda County? If you’re planning on road tripping this summer, check out the Association of Science-Technology Center’s Passport Program, or visit the Association of Children’s Museums site to learn more about their reciprocal program for museum members. These programs allow you use your local museum membership to get discounted or reciprocal admission at participating venues to save a bit of cash.
The author of several hands-on activity books for kids, Kris Bordessa has a thing for transforming perfectly good garbage into craft projects. Her book, Team Challenges: Group Activities to Build Cooperation, Communication, and Creativity, features more than 200 team building activities that have been used with youth groups, in the classroom, and even at the occasional wine party. She lives in Hawaii with her family, where there's always some sort of gardening experiment in the works.