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Kalamazoo Valley Museum

August 31, 2013

  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum230 N. Rose Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49003
  • (269) 373-7990
  • Website

Finding things for to do with L has opened up a whole new side of West Michigan for us.  Before L was born, we stuck to mainly adult type stuff.  Since L’s birth, we’re checking out more places we probably would have never gone if it was just the two of us.

A few months ago, J took L to meet a friend of hers at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.  They came home that night and J told me they had a blast and that we needed to go back soon.

Soon turned into several weeks, but when we needed something to do on a warm day, J suggested heading downtown.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is on Rose Street between Michigan and Kalamazoo.  The three story museum is part of Kalamazoo Valley Community College and admission is free.  Yeah…read that again…admission is free.

Since J had been there before, she knew exactly where she wanted to go.  We headed up the stairs to the Burton Henry Upjohn Children’s Landscape.  This hands on exhibit for the preschool set is full of blocks to stack, puzzles to build, and books to read.  L found a lot of things to play with and we spent the majority of our time in this part of the museum.

We spent time building with legos at a table near the door while we danced to music from a jukebox that children can operate with the press of a button.  We danced with streamers,  we drove a bus, and we ran around with one of those old corn popper push toys.

There was a little bit of a meltdown when it came time to leave, but J and I wanted to check out the rest of the museum.  After a few minutes in the Science in Motion section, L forgot all about the toys and just wanted to play with the cars daddy was building.   This display was too old for L, but in a few years, she will love this.  

After a few minutes in the Science in Motion area, we headed down the hall to the Kalamazoo Direct To You exhibit.  This is more of a place for older history buffs.  I actually want to go back on my own just to look at a lot of the exhibits that document Kalamazoo’s past.  The neat thing in this area is a throwback TV set.  Dubbed WKVM-TV, the set has the feel of a set Edward Murrow would have sat on in the early days of television news.  There’s also a pre-computer/green screen weather wall with maps, markers, and magnets so you can do the news while looking into a functioning (albiet outdated) camera with a monitor showing you on TV.

Next we headed up to the third floor where the Eat Well, Play Well exhibit is set up.  This is a pretty hands on special exhibit where kids learn how to make healthy choices.  Again, because of L’s age, it was a lot of just playing, but it’s something that can be very enlightening to older kids.

As we were getting ready to leave, we wanted to make one quick pass through the Mystery of the Mummy.  We just did a quick path through because was ready to leave, but the mummy, donated to the museum in 1928 was interesting…something else I’d like to go back and spend more time reading about.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a pretty amazing place right in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo.  I was pretty amazed that the whole museum was free to get in to.  L had a lot of fun and I was pretty impressed with what had been right under my nose this whole time.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

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