A Visit to Sausalito's Bay Model

February 25, 2012

The Bay Model in SausalitoI grew up in Marin, but for some reason never visited the Bay Model in Sausalito until last Thursday. With their grand re-opening taking place this week, and with the kids having mid-winter break, I thought it would be a great time to check it out. It's also free to the public, so it's an inexpensive place for a fun and educational family outing. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but as it turns out we all really enjoyed our visit—it's definitely one of Marin's hidden treasures.

The Bay Model has been a Sausalito fixture since the 1950s, when it was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers to allow scientists and researchers to study how water flows through San Francisco Bay and the Delta. The Bay Model has functioned solely as an educational facility since 2000, and visitors can marvel at the giant model itself, which is the size of two football fields, learn about the local ecosystem, and explore the history of the World War II-era Marinship shipyard that was once on the site.

The Bay Model has just undergone $15.5 million dollars worth of renovations and improvements, including a new roof with 2,500 solar panels, seismic retrofitting, and upgrades to the visitor center. They'll be holding a grand re-opening celebration today, Saturday, February 25, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Explore Science + You at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (and Win Tickets!)

February 3, 2012

Science + You at the Bay Area Discovery MuseumChildren visiting the Bay Area Discovery Museum can become young scientists at Science + Me, the museum's newest special exhibition. Developed by the Kohl Children's Museum in Chicago in conjunction with scientists at global health care company Abbott, this exhibition opened January 17 and runs through April 15, 2012.

Science + You offers a child-sized laboratory where children can explore how scientists impact health and wellness. Learn how science plays a vital role in keeping you and your body healthy through hands-on interactive exhibits and activities. On Saturday afternoons, meet scientists from Abbott Labs who will perform fun, interactive, and age-appropriate science experiments in the exhibition's demonstration area.

Children will enter the 1,200-square-foot exhibition as if they're entering a real laboratory, washing up and wiping their feet before they put on their white lab coats. Once inside, they'll learn about anitbodies, handle materials in a glove box, separate and and mix liquids and solids, view objects on video microscopes, and learn more about healthy foods and lifestyles.

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Free Admission at the Bay Area Discovery Museum Today!

December 26, 2011

Come mark the beginning of Kwanzaa, the African-American celebration of family and community, at Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum on Monday, December 26 from 10 am–4 pm, with art projects inspired by the African continent, live performances, and a Kwanzaa altar in the museum’s Entry Pavilion.

Also, enjoy a performance by renowned jazz drummer E. W. Wainwright and his ensemble: The African Roots of Jazz, takes you on a musical journey that traces African-American musical forms, such as jazz, gospel, and spirituals, from their earliest beginnings in African cultures to today at 11 am and 1 pm in the Discovery Theatre. The program features instrumental music, songs, theater, and audience participation. Seating for The African Roots of Jazz is limited; pick up free tickets at the front desk when you arrive at the museum.

Go Out on a Limb at the Bay Area Discovery Museum's New Exhibit

October 26, 2011

Out on a limb tree houseThis Saturday, Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum opens Out on a Limb, adventures with nature and art, it's new special exhibit that promotes nature-play through a sculptural, interactive design that incorporates nostalgic settings, such as a tree house and a fort-building area. Out on a Limb will be at the Bay Area Discovery Museum from Saturday, October 29, 2011 through January 8, 2012, and is included with general museum admission.

The 1,200 square foot imaginative environment is designed to inspire children and their caregivers to learn to explore nature by using their senses. More than simply seeing the beauty of a tree, the exhibit encourages visitors to hear the sounds of the forest, use leaves to make beautiful art, and build big and little structures from bark and limbs. Out on a Limb, adventures with nature and art was originally created by Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Hands-on Kids' Cooking Classes for Fall from ITK Culinary

August 9, 2011

Cooking class for kids at ITK Culinary in SausalitoAre your kids interested in food and cooking? They can roll up their sleeves this fall and take part in a two-hour culinary journey with the kids' classes offered by ITK Culinary in Sausalito. The Culinary Dude, Scott Davis, leads the programs and combines his background in early childhood development with a culinary degree to guide students of all ages through preparation, cooking, setting the table, and clean-up.

Courses range from comfort foods, French, Italian, and Chinese to vegetarian and just about everything in between. Most classes last two hours and culminate in the group sharing their hand-made meal together. “The emphasis is on the process not the product” said Davis, who allows the kids ample space to put their own spin on dishes if they want. “We’ve had kids come through who were picky eaters and by the end of the class, they were enjoying food they’ve never had. Not because we told them try, but because they were proud of their accomplishment.”

Summer Sunsets Concert Series at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

July 8, 2011

This summer, Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum is open late by popular demand on select Fridays for the Summer Sunsets Concert Series. Come to the museum from 5–7 pm tonight, July 8, and July 22, August 5 and 19 for an evening of family fun by the Bay with music, food, and the special exhibition Curious George: Let's Get Curious! Curious George himself makes a personal appearance at 5:30 pm (so don't forget your camera) and musical performances begin at 6 pm.

This year's Summer Sunsets lineup:

  • July 8: Rhythm Child introduces children and families to the basic elements of music in a drum circle experience. Come drum, dance, and sing in the museum's Festival Plaza.
  • July 22: Popular Bay Area children's entertainer Enzo Garcia brings his eclectic selection of instruments— including five-string banjo, musical saw, accordion, harmonica, and enzotar—and songs to the museum.
  • August 5: Dance and sing along with the Bloody Scupper Plunder Club as they perform songs of piracy, general mayhem, and high-seas adventure.
  • August 22: It's always a dance party with Asheba, the energetic singer, songwriter, and storyteller whose show is spiced with Caribbean and world beats inspired by his childhood on Trinidad.

Imagination Playground Now Open at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

April 11, 2011

Imagination Playground at the Bay Area Discovery MuseumCome down and play in Imagination Playground, a newly opened permanent exhibition at Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum. Located in the museum's Festival Plaza, Imagination Playground is a breakthrough concept in playspace design created by architect David Rockwell to encourage the child-directed, unstructured free play that is so important in nurturing children's creativity.

Imagination Playground offers kids endless possibilities for creative play. Children can use a wide array of different elements—including giant foam blocks, slides, noodles, fabric, carts, and balls—to create their own play experiences and reconfigure and modify them. They can also bring sand and water into play in their creations. Adult "Play Associates" are on hand to maintain a safe and secure environment and assure a steady supply of parts for maximum fun and creativity.

Head to Sea with Voyage Camp on the Schooner Seaward

March 8, 2011

Call of the Sea's schooner SeawardSpend some time at sea this summer! Call of the Sea, an educational non-profit based in Sausalito, is offering a Voyage Camp designed for students ages 12–18 to take part in three- and five-day summer sea voyages to explore the waters of the San Francisco Bay and Beyond!

These three-and five-day overnight seagoing adventures challenge and teach teenagers the ways of the ocean. Under the guidance of a professional captain and crew, students learn to sail a classic sailing vessel as a team. Dependent on weather, wind and tide instead of social pressures and electronic entertainment, they gain an appreciation and respect for the ocean environment. All participants will learn steering, navigating, standing watch, and helping in the galley as students become one with the rhythm of a ship at sea.

Two Cool Museum Exhibitions Open This Weekend

November 1, 2009

BADM stream for Animal SecretsLooking for something to do this weekend that doesn't involve Halloween? Two interesting new exhibitions open at local museums this weekend that could be perfect outings for your family.

At Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum, families can explore the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals in the special exhibition Animal Secrets, which runs from tomorrow through May 9, 2010. Specially designed for children ages 3–8, Animal Secrets uses imagintive role-play and hands-on activities to help children discover nature from an animal's point of view. Environments to be explored include a stream, meadow, woodland, cave, and naturalist's tent.

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is open Tuesday–Friday 9 am–4 pm and weekends 10 am–5 pm. Admission is $8 for children 1–17 and seniors 62+ and $10 for adults; free for children under 1 and members.

For more information, visit or call (415) 339-3900.

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