KEEP ON TRUCKIN’
MARQUETTE- On the second Thursday of every month, the U.P. Children’s Museum holds a themed night of fun and creativity. This month’s theme was all about trucks.
The Second Thursday Series is all about encouraging creativity. Each program features a night of activities on a different theme ranging from costume parties to fun with science to … lizards. The program strives to provide something for all ages to enjoy, said Jim Edwards, who is in charge of general programming and parties at the museum. He’s also known as Mr. Jim.
“These nights are always going to be about creativity,” Edwards said. “It’s about crafts, handling brushes and playing with food.”
Various stations are set up around the museum for kids interested in doing crafts. This month there was a painting station, a place where the children could made trucks out of recyclables and a food station where the kids could build edible fire trucks out of graham crackers, cream cheese, grapes and pretzels.
“We took recipes and changed them to be healthier,” Edwards said. “So we have cream cheese instead of frosting and fruit instead of oreos (for the tires). Even in the kitchen, they are trying to deal with healthy things and encouraging the kids to eat well.”
Along with craft stations, children get the opportunity to play in the museum or listen to live music. There is always a live performer during the Thursday program, Edwards said. This month, Dennis Whitley, the 8-18 Media director at the museum, was playing guitar and harmonica for the children.
During the night, a truck from the Marquette Board of Light and Power showed up as well as a fire truck from the Marquette Fire Department. The children were able to climb inside each truck and learn what all the tools and gadgets do. When the fire truck showed up Thursday night, kids outside started jumping up and down with excitement.
“(Having the trucks here) gives them positive career images of what these people do,” Edwards said. “So people who work for a living are here volunteering and representing their business.”
Edwards said his favorite part of the Second Thursday Series is the community involvement with volunteering. There were children as young as fifth grade volunteering along with undergrads from Northern Michigan University to adults from Kohl’s and Wells Fargo.
“Having these older kids and adults volunteering here will hopefully show the kids that it’s fun to volunteer and might do it themselves when they get older,” Edwards said.
The Second Thursday Series is free with museum membership or the price of admission to the museum. It runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday is also Dominos Pizza Night at the museum, so attendees can order a pizza before 5:30 p.m. and it will be delivered during the event. The cost is $6 per pizza.
For more information on the Second Thursday Series, call Jim Edwards at the U.P. Children’s Museum, 226-3911.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is awhitefoot@miningjournal .net.