School Vacation Weeks at the EcoTarium

Family fun for February, April and December School Vacation

When school's out, the EcoTarium is the place to be. Each February, April and December, our education team cooks up creative ways to learn and have fun -- all designed especially for school-age kids and their families. These theme-based weeks are filled with activities focused around a particular science or nature topic. Many activities are free with admission.

Earth Week: Spring Vacation

Tuesday, April 18 - Friday, April 21, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?
Calling all plant lovers, green thumbs, and dirt enthusiasts! Join us for a week of Science Discovery programs and explore how kitchen scraps turn into beautiful blooms, the secrets inside the plant parts we eat, and how gardens take root with help from an animal’s lunch or a windy day. Stop by our tabletop activities to learn what your nose knows about garden scents, and test your seed-to-sprout memory.

And, don't miss our Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 21!

Science Discovery programs

  • 11:30 a.m. Stowaway Seeds
    Who plants the trees in the forest or the flowers in the field? Sometimes seeds just hitch a ride aboard (or inside) a furry critter! A storybook reading, hands-on activity and live animal visit demonstrate how animals’ fur and diets help wild gardens grow.

  • 12:30 p.m. From Root to Fruit
    Potato eyes, rose hips, celery ribs… plants have physical features, too! Use song, dance, and experimentation to explore how a plant’s anatomy helps keep both plants and people healthy.

  • 2:30 p.m. From Breeze to Peas
    Blow on a dandelion puffball, and you’ll start its seeds on an amazing journey across the street, or across the country. Discover how seeds adapt their shapes and sizes to harness the power of the wind, water or gravity, to finally take root in diverse landscapes.  

  • 3:30 p.m. Pollination Station
    Chocolate…watermelon…coffee…most of the world’s crops depend on pollination to survive. Learn how an elaborate dance helps bees find flowers, and take a stab at pollinating a flower of your own.  

Tabletop Activities

  • 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Noses and Roses
    Most folks know a rose by sight, but what about by smell? See what your nose knows about garden flora and other common scents. Match the smells to the plants, and you’ll become a smarter sniffer!

  • 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m The Wormtown Underground
    Some call it dirt, but others know it’s backyard black gold. Compost turns dinky sprouts into healthy herbs, and lowly worms, microbes and fungus are key. See a real-life worm bin in action and learn how these organisms are garden friends—not foes.

  • 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Seed and Sprout Match-up
    Would you know a pomegranate aril from a pear pip? Or the strange seed pod of the lotus flower? Test your matching memory and learn how tiny specks grow into spectacular fruits and flowers.

  • 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. The Wormtown Underground
    Some call it dirt, but others know it’s backyard black gold. Compost turns dinky sprouts into healthy herbs, and lowly worms, microbes and fungus are key. See a real-life worm bin in action and learn how these organisms are garden friends—not foes.

Planetarium Shows*

*Tickets to shows in the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater can be purchased at the Tickets and Information Desk on the day of your visit. Tickets: $5 per person (plus museum admission)/$4 per person for EcoTarium members

Special Offer

When you join or renew an EcoTarium membership during your visit at the Family/Grandparent Plus level or higher, get a free EcoTarium water bottle! (while supplies last)

Refreshments

Lunch and snack items will be available for purchase from Eric's LaPatisserie between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Beverage and snack vending machines are available inside the museum on the Middle Level. In addition, picnicking is welcome on the EcoTarium grounds.