Discovery Center kicks off Family Friday events

Starting Friday, June 16, and continuing through Friday, Aug. 11, Discovery Center Museum will play, explore and create summer fun as part of the summer 2006 installment of the museum’s annual Family Friday series.

These family-oriented special events are from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each Friday, and explore a different topic every week. Cost is included with admission to Discovery Center, which is inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. No pre-registration is required, and pizza, pop and snacks will be available for purchase each Friday.

As part of Family Fridays programming, children and their families will, through the use of hands-on activities and fun-filled presentations, learn about explosions, dirt, fireworks, things with wings and much more. They’ll even get to launch fruits and vegetables from a giant catapult.

The summer 2005 Family Fridays schedule is as follows:

Pizza, Pizza—From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, June 16, pizza puzzles and crazy crafts and art center around your favorite food. Papa John’s Pizza will be available for purchase. Enjoy a slice as you roll out the dough, investigate ingredients and toss it in the “oven.”

Four-Legged Friends—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 23, cuddly critters command the day as participants investigate some furry friends. Get the scoop about pet care, scope out the science that supports obedience training, sample dog biscuits, make some animal art, and practice yips and meows. Leave your real pets at home.

Five Squared—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 30, 25 is king as participants wish Discovery Center a happy 25th birthday. Celebrate with a slice of birthday cake, and play with numbers and shapes in ways never imagined.

KABOOM!—From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, spud guns, rockets, sparklers and flags take center stage. Science gets explosive as participants delve into the chemistry and physics of Fourth of July celebrations. Strut the stars and stripes with arts, crafts and giveaways. Leave your car at Discovery Center for the evening parade and fireworks.

Frosty Friday—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 7, come in out of the heat and enjoy some cool fun. Chill out with dry ice experiments, liquid nitrogen demonstrations and ice cream investigations. Make frozen artwork and more!

Gettin’ Dizzy—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 14, science is on the move with things that whirl and twirl. Discover the bubbles that make your head spin while testing the limits of rotational inertia. Design tops and turning toys, create art with a twist, and investigate things that go round and round.

Down on the Farm—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 21, get down and dirty to examine seeds, soil, plants and pollen. Be a contestant in “Wheel of Farming”—the agricultural game show. View the patchwork quilt of farms from the air, create agricultural art and examine cultivation, from alfalfa to zucchini.

Air Play—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 28, experience the power of air to lift heavy things, defy gravity, create chemical concoctions and use wind to make art.

Princesses and Superheroes—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4, grab your tiara or don your cape and assume your secret identity as your favorite superhero or princess. Choose a character from stories, or invent one of your own. Come in costume, and bring your imagination to enjoy games, art, crafts and demonstrations. Grown-ups can play, too.

Splish Splash Splat—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11, bring some fruit to fuel the giant catapult. Dunk your favorite staff member, explore water balloon ballistics, and create splatter art and other messy stuff. Dress to get wet.

For more information, call Discovery Center at 963-6769 or visit the Museum’s Web site at

General admission to Discovery Center is $5 adults, $4 children (ages 2 to 17) and free to children younger than 2 and museum members. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.

From the June 14-20, 2006, issue

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