Rainforest Adventure in Western MA

Rainforest Adventure in Western MA
Springfield Museums: Jan 25-May 11, 2014

Rainforest Adventure is a multi-sensory exploration of one of our planet’s most precious resources. Through a variety of interactive experiences and hands on displays, visitors will learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests and the many challenges they face today. Using vests, flashlights, and binoculars provided, young visitors can explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species they find along the way. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Rainforest Adventure is that it is designed for both children and adults, allowing families to share in the enjoyment of learning together.

Craving an outdoor adventure that doesn’t involve icicles, snow banks, and layers of cold weather gear? If you can’t flee to a warmer corner of the globe anytime soon, enjoy an indoor version of such an adventure at the Springfield Museums! From January 25th through May 11th, 2014, the museums will be home to an exciting new exhibit – Rainforest Adventure.

True to its name, the exhibit brings real excitement to the museums and offers families a rainforest adventure without the travel. While exploring a gorilla nest or climbing a kapok tree, families will be able to learn about the amazing species diversity found in our planet’s rainforest and will work to identify endangered rainforest species. Backpacks, flashlights, and special adventure vests will be provided for intrepid explorers to use while adventuring on a multisensory expedition through the exhibit, and kids and adults alike will enjoy the experience and the useful information gained by visiting…

Kids of all ages can learn valuable lessons about biology and environmental science through role-play as research assistants on a series of problem-solving adventures. Older kids can examine the relationship between humans’ impact on the earth and the decline of populations of some rainforest species. Younger students will love learning about the many different tropical plants, animals, insects, and other living things that can be found deep in the rainforest – their adaptations and role within the rainforest ecosystem may have similarities to the role that similar animals play in the familiar local landscape.

To support rainforest studies before and/or after visiting the exhibit, try perusing your local library for some rainforest field guides or other nonfiction books. The realistic pictures, diagrams, and descriptions can help kids to deepen their understanding of the interrelatedness of not only rainforest species, but all species in all natural environments. If your kids prefer a storyline in their reading material, try out Lynne Cherry’s The Great Kapok Tree or The Shaman’s Apprentice.

In celebration of the Rainforest Adventure opening day, the Springfield Museums are offering a day filled with special events to accompany the exhibit. From 10am-5pm on Saturday, January 25th, families can visit the museum for special events like a meet-and-greet with live critters from the Solutia Live Animal Center, a jungle-themed balloon magic show, and occasional lessons from the Roving Scientist. Visitors are asked to pay $5 on top of museum admission in order to visit Rainforest Adventure. The Springfield Museums are located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. For more information about the exhibit or the opening event, contact the museums at 800-625-7738 or visit them online at www.springfieldmuseums.org.

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