An Unforgettable Way for Kids to Learn about the Water System

It’s hard to remember that we are still in the thick of winter with all the rain and warmer temperatures we have experienced lately, and the waterways certainly look like spring is fully here as their levels crest higher than usual.

Watching the swollen Grand River flow by becomes the perfect backdrop to the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s current exhibit: Water’s Extreme Journey.

Designed as an interactive path exploring the water cycle, it goes well beyond the basic evaporation, condensation, precipitation factors in your journey as a raindrop.

You’re a Raindrop the Moment you Step Inside

The exhibit starts with using your imagination and brainstorming up some possible paths you may take as a drop of water.

Then your travels start by precipitating out of the atmosphere via a zipline. This was a huge hit with my 5 year-old son.

As you follow the path you will encounter different wheels that will further direct you on your travels.

You will probably end up wanting to go through several times to see all the possible outcomes.

This exhibit is engaging for all ages, with some incredibly helpful insights into how we as humans can impact water’s journey, better or worse.

Learn About our own Grand Rapids

There is also a special additional area outlining some of the history of the Grand River and proposed plans to bring back the rapids, along with a small selection of books for different age groups to help them better understand the water cycle and its importance.

Tips for Exploring Water’s Extreme Journey With Kids

Before you visit this exhibit here are a few quick things to keep to in mind:

1- Strollers are best left parked outside of the exhibit. The tight corners and some of the passageways would be close to impossible to navigate anything other than a basic, single umbrella-style stroller. If you have an infant or toddler, a baby-wearing carrier will be incredibly handy as there are many “escape routes” for littles, as my 1 year old quickly discovered.

2 – Be aware of the time of day you are visiting. If you have a child who can feel overwhelmed with loud sounds, you will want to wait till off-peak hours as the noise levels can vary drastically. The first time we stopped by there were probably only about another 12-16 visitors and it was rather quiet. Later we stopped back and it was closer to 30 people in the exhibit and it was very loud with all the wheel spinning and extra voices.

3 – Admission is included in the cost of your ticket to visit this exhibit, so no extra fees!

Read here for more tips about visiting the Public Museum.

Details About Water’s Extreme Journey

Water’s Extreme Journey is now open through April 29, 2018.

Grand Rapids Public Museum is located at 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Hours are:

  • Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

272 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI

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