Home Outdoor education Sausalito Museum launches new exhibit as renovation ends

Sausalito Museum launches new exhibit as renovation ends

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  • Caleb Feldstein, two, of San Rafael, tries out the controls of a cutaway car in the new How Things Work exhibit at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021. The children’s museum recently completed a project to $ 20 million projects, adding five new exhibitions, including How Things Work. (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Kids climb one of the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s new attractions, Gumnut Grove, at Fort Baker in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Five-year-old Camden Wu stars in the new Tot Spot exhibit at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Ayla Okun, 1, of San Rafael, takes a look at the inner workings of the piano as she plays it in the How Things Work exhibit at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Tom Willis from San Francisco is helping his 3-year-old daughter Rosie to the Crow’s Nest at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Will Barrera, 1 year old from southern San Francisco, left, and Rowen Smith, 2, from San Rafael, draw on a board outside the Tot Spot at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021. (Alan Independent Journal Dep / Marin)

  • Children play at Gumnut Grove at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021. Part of the children’s museum recently made a $ 20 million investment, the new playground features large copper gumnut structures, climbing ladders and ropes, bridges, and a long metal slide. (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Sydney Gin, four, of San Anselmo, crosses one of the bridges in Gumnut Grove at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Three-year-old Eleanor Kingsdale of Greenbrae is cheered on by her father Andrew as she reaches the bottom of the toboggan at Gumnut Grove at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • A cut from a blender is among the everyday things visitors can see in the How Things Work exhibit at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021. Other exhibits include a piano, pool table, toilet and a car engine. The children’s museum recently completed a $ 20 million project, adding five new exhibits. (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • A video of waves is projected onto building blocks in the Try It Studio at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

  • Bridges connect the towers of the new Gumnut Grove at the Bay Area Discovery Museum to Sausalito on Friday, October 1, 2021 (Alan Dep / Marin Independent Journal)

After six years of planning and construction, the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito opened the last of five new exhibits as part of a $ 20 million renovation.

The museum, which caters to children from infants to 10, is already seeing crowds comparable to pre-pandemic levels after the latest new exhibit opens on Labor Day weekend, Kelly said Monday. McKinley, CEO of the museum.

“The five new exhibits are based on the most recent research on child development,” McKinley said.
“They include specific ways for children to grow and learn while having fun.”

McKinley said the project improves half of the indoor space and a significant portion of the outdoor space on the 2-1 / 2-acre site at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Seattle-based architectural firm Olson Kundig designed the renovation, which has been built in phases over the past three years.

“With this project, the museum’s audience is effectively expanded to include visitors of all ages,” said Alan Maskin, director of design at Olson Kundig.

For example, Maskin said, he saw people climbing on the outdoor exhibit “ranging from a pair of twins who will soon be 3 and a grandmother in her late sixties.”

“How many times do these two groups have a common experience that both of them are passionate about?” ” he said.

In addition, he said, the renovation “revitalizes several old unused or underused military structures on the Bay Area Discovery Museum campus.”

It also redesigns multiple exhibits – including new environments for infants and toddlers, STEM learning labs that introduce young visitors to the latest design and engineering technologies, and a new ‘rope course’ and an outdoor climbing structure nestled in a eucalyptus grove, ”he said. noted.

The $ 20 million renovation was funded by $ 19 million in donations, mostly from private foundations, corporations and individual patrons, donors and trustees, according to McKinley.

“The only time we closed for the pandemic was in March 2020,” McKinley said. “We opened the outdoor section in August 2020 and have been open ever since. “

Before the pandemic, annual attendance was around 400,000 people. That figure fell in 2020 to around 180,000, McKinley said. She said the numbers were coming back quickly this fall with the completion of the renovations.

Masks are mandatory indoors for everyone and are optional outdoors – although most families wear masks outdoors, McKinley said.

“We are very aware that not all of our children who attend are vaccinated,” McKinley said, referring to the fact that vaccines are currently only available for children 12 and older. “Our staff are 100% vaccinated.

Inside the new spaces, architects and designers worked to incorporate natural materials, such as wood and cork, to stimulate a forest and bay in the Tot Spot, an exhibit for infants and all- small.

“As children crawl, walk and weave their way through these visually striking exhibits, they develop essential language, motor and socio-emotional skills,” said Marlene Chen, project manager for Olson Kundig, of the Tot Spot.

The two outdoor exhibits – Gumnut Grove, a network of tree climbing trails; and Faith, a renovated former salmon fisherman, are designed for the senses. Children around 5-10 years old can touch, smell, see stunning images, develop motor skills, be mentally challenged, and play.

Parents are allowed to accompany the little ones on the climbing structures.

“They venture through the treetops on these intimidating but rewarding climbing structures while honing gross motor skills, exploring risk and developing confidence in a safe environment,” said Roderick Wyllie, Design Director at Olson Kundig.

Troller Faith was drafted from Bodega Bay, McKinley said.

“Children can use their imaginations to jump on a wreck or on the high seas,” McKinley said.

Two other new areas in the interior section are How Things Work, which reveals the inner workings of everyday objects, and Try It Studio, which develops skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and math – or STEAM.

“These predominantly analog experiences help children develop the digital literacy they need to be successful in our increasingly digital world,” Janine Okmin, museum director of learning, said of Try It Studio.

General admission to the museum is $ 19 per person. But McKinley said the museum, which has operated in the Bay Area for about 30 years, participates in at least 10 regional programs that allow free or reduced admission for families with limited resources.

The museum has a “high priority” in making quality early childhood education accessible to everyone, including generally underserved families, McKInley said.

A membership program is also available which includes unlimited visits.

The museum’s opening hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Information and tickets are online bayareadiscoverymuseum.org.


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