Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss Opens this Saturday at the Museum of Discovery

Is your child is curious about the ocean and its vast, unexplored depths? Do they enjoy learning about how technology leads to new discoveries? Beginning this Saturday at Museum of Discovery, the whole family can get an up close look at the mysteries of the ocean depths.

Developed by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the world’s largest non-profit ocean science research institution, this3,000 square foot interactive exhibit takes visitors through hands-on exploration and discovery into the deep undersea world. Visitors will explore the newly discovered life forms and shipwrecks, including the Titanic. Visitors will also get an up-close look at the ways in which technology is altering how we see the undiscovered depths and be able to explore this technology first hand. For example, you can view the interior replica of the submersible Alvin’s personnel sphere and dive to depths of up to three miles. You can also fly a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) over a model of the Titanic’s deck and so much more.

And if you’re curious about how the ocean is always changing and transforming, you’ll get a chance to see how currents created by superheated water erupting from the vents carry vital nutrients, which support life forms that few have ever dreamed existed. Among the more than 500 newly discovered species are five-feet long tubeworms with bright red heads rich in hemoglobin, “squat lobsters” and giant white clams the size of dinner plates.

Extreme Deep, designed for ages six and older, introduces biology, chemistry, geology, history, exploration and the critical role that technology plays in understanding our world and its future. The exhibit will run through July 29th.

For more information visit the Discovery Museum online by clicking here.

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Weekend To-Dos, March 23-25, 2012

What’s going on this weekend? Lots of reasons to get outdoors!

Saturday is Kidsfest at Belk at Pleasant Ridge! From 12 – 3 p.m., there will be face painting, magic by Tommy Terrific, a fashion show in which ANY child can model, and tons more fun! It’s free, so stop by today! All children who sign up to model will receive a coupon for 15% all clothing purchased Saturday! Belk is located at 11525 Cantrell Road in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center. Call 907-6200 ext. 210 for more information.

Also on Saturday, the Museum of Discovery welcomes a new exhibit made possible by the Arkansas Discovery Network. “Astronomy, It’s a Blast!” features seven interactive exhibits which explore black holes, celestial navigation, air rockets, the space shuttle and more. The Network is an innovative collaboration of seven museums and educational centers in Arkansas. The network focuses on making hands-on, interactive museum experiences more accessible to approximately 500,000 schoolchildren and their families. The Museum of Discovery is located at 500 President Clinton Avenue in the River Market district. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. See href=”http://museumofdiscovery.org/events/astronomy-it%E2%80%99s-blast “> for more information.

You still have time to catch “If You Take a Mouse to School” at the Children’s Theater at Arkansas Arts Center. There are showings Friday night at 7 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m., and the final show will be Sunday at 2. Tickets are $14 for adults and $11 for children. See or call 501-372-4000 for more information.

Sunday from 1 – 3 p.m., come out to Pinnacle Mountain State park – and bring your kite – for a kite flying competition! This is a free activity, so bring the whole family! www.arkansasstateparks.com or 868-5806 for more information.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and water when you head outside. Happy weekend, Savvy Families!

What are you doing this weekend?

Need a date night? Drop the kids off for a night of fun at the North Little Rock Athletic Club for Parent’s Night Out! There will be a moonwalk, arts & crafts and pizza, along with other activities to enjoy! Kids ages 3-12 can enjoy the NLRAC from 6-10 p.m. Just enough time for mom and dad to have dinner and see a movie! Call Diane Collie at (501) 812-5555, ext. 232 for more information or to register.

The hottest breakfast ticket in town is at the Little Rock Zoo. This week’s Breakfast with the Animals series is focused on Bear Awareness. A delectable breakfast buffet will be served up by Café Africa, and will be accompanied by a keeper chat about bears. The event runs from 8-9:30 a.m. and the cost is $12.95 for a child who is a member of the zoo, $16.95 for a non-member child, $16.95 for a member adult and $21.95 for a non-member adult. Reservations are required, so go ahead and call (501) 661-7218 today! Upcoming Breakfasts will feature giraffes (May 28), primates (June 25) and lorikeets (July 23). 

You and your family can see songs from four beloved musicals (we’re talking Shrek, The Lion King, The Sound of Music and Wicked) at Arkansas Skatiumon both Saturday and Sunday! This production from Diamond Edge Figure Skating will leave your little ones breathless as they see their favorite Disney songs come to life on the ice. Tickets are just $7 (and kids under 5 are free!) The show begins at 5 p.m. both nights, which will leave you plenty of time to lace up those skates and get your groove on after the show. Don’t forget to bring a jacket – the ice rink can be a bit chilly! Tickets can be purchased online at www.arkansasskatium.com or at the door. (501) 227-4333 for more information.

A Weekend Full of Activities!

What are your plans for the weekend? There are a lot of interesting activities planned in the Little Rock area, and the forecast looks sunny and warm, so there is no excuse to stay indoors! Get out there and enjoy this beautiful Arkansas springtime! I’ve looked through the Savvy Kids Calendar of Events and my daughter and I have planned out our weekend.

First up for us is the “Take Out the Trash” event at the Heifer Village. Beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 3 p.m., this day of learning and play will help families understand what happens to their clothes, toys, food, and garbage after they’re thrown away. Heifer Village is always a good bet to keep socially conscious youngsters busy as they become aware of how our habits impact the lives of people all over the world. Activities will include worm-bin creation, mapping where trash goes once it leaves our homes, and there will be some “special guests” from Heifer Ranch available for photo opportunities. All activities are free! (www.heifer.org or 501-907-2852)

While we’re in the downtown area, we’ll be sure to check out the Territorial Fair at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third Street. The focus of this year’s activities is “Back Home in the Civil War.” This super-fun event will have lots of hands-on activities for kids, including dancing at the May Pole, making fruit leather, assembling a Civil War care package, jumping off of hay bales and so much more! The fun starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. The fair is free to attend, and Lindsey’s BBQ will be selling their famous barbecue sandwiches and fried pies. (historicarkansas.org or 501-324 – 9351) 

May 7 is National Astronomy Day and to celebrate, Pinnacle Mountain State Park will have programs for all ages beginning at 2 p.m. in the Visitor’s Center. There will be indoor and outdoor activities, solar viewing, and if the weather permits – from 9 – 10 p.m. there will be telescopes to view the night sky. My daughter Cassidy is always up for a climb to the top of Pinnacle, so we’ll be heading out there in the late afternoon to get some exercise and learn a thing or two about astronomy while we’re at it. Our late night viewing of the super moon earlier this year has piqued her interest in the stars and planets. Like any mother, I do my best to encourage her when she feels drawn toward a particular subject (especially when it’s one that will ensure her a possible career path in the sciences). (arkansasstateparks.com or 501-868-5806) 

Sure hope to see ya’ll out there!