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Museums School Vacation, Earth Day Programs Filled with “Claws, Paws, Scales and Tales”

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums have announced their lineup of activities for the upcoming school vacation week. This year’s theme is “Claws, Paws, Scales and Tales,” in connection with the ongoing Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum.

The week kicks off with the Springfield Museum’s 25th annual Earth Day Festival, which takes place on April 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A wide range of environmentally friendly groups will be on the Quadrangle Green, including Western Mass. Master Gardener’s Assoc., the Center for EcoTechnology, Hampden County Beekeepers Association, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass., and Keep Springfield Beautiful, along with interactive displays from the Mass. Wildlife Angler Education Program, ECOS (Environmental Center for Our Schools), and the Western Mass Council of Boy Scouts. There will also be the annual appearance by the bluegrass trio “The Boys of the Landfill” (11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.), plus free seedlings from the Springfield Forestry Division and free ice cream, while supplies last. The event is free to the public; however, if weather forces a move inside, general museum admission will be required to attend the Festival. Event sponsors are Astro Chemicals, Doctor’s Express Urgent Care, GZA Geoenvironmental, and Solenis.

In honor of the 25th anniversary the Earth Day Festival, two nature-oriented events are taking place off-site on April 17. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club will host a Riverfront History & Photography Tour. Parking is available at 121 West Street, Springfield. At noon that day, the Naturalist Club and Springfield Science Museum will host a field trip to explore the Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge. Space is limited for both events, and preregistration is required; call (413) 263-6800, ext. 404, or email to [email protected]. The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge’s mobile Watershed on Wheels (WoW) Express Program will be stationed on the Quadrangle starting April 17 and remain throughout the week.

Monday, April 18 marks the beginning of the Museums’ “Claws, Paws, Scales and Tales” programs for April school vacation, featuring daily family shows, live animal demonstrations, hands-on science and art activities, and planetarium shows, all free with museum admission unless noted. The schedule of performances includes:

  • April 18 (11 a.m.): In the Nick of Time. Nick Deysher presents his energetic, interactive, and joyful performance featuring a generous blend of rock, pop, reggae, jazz, and funk;
  • April 19 (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.): Live Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi. Using a variety of live birds, Tom shares his considerable knowledge to inspire viewers to appreciate, respect and conserve these important members of our animal kingdom;
  • April 20 (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.): Animal Adventures presents The Premium Live Animal Show. This engaging program, offered by an “Adventure Guide” features a variety of rare and exotic animals;
  • April 21 (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.): Pumpernickel Puppets presents The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Lion and the Mouse. Two classic tales filled with a cast of colorful puppet characters, audience participation, sound effects, and fast-paced scripts; and
  • April 22: (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.): Magician Jungle Jim performs Star Wars Jedi Knight Training. Star Wars fans get a chance to interact with a real Jedi Knight through a series of challenges like Jedi Force Magic, the Laser Balloon Barrage and Jedi Teamwork culminating in an epic lightsaber duel with the Jedi Master himself.

The Museums have also scheduled a full slate of educational activities during the week, including live animals from Forest Park’s “Zoo on the Go” program on Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. Visitors can also check out the Science Museum’s emu egg incubator for any new arrivals. Rounding out the week’s activities will be the following daily events (Monday – Friday):

  • Gallery activities (locations vary): 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Science Museum
  • Seymour Planetarium shows at 11:15 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. (extra fee applies); and
  • Hasbro Games Art Discovery Center, 12-4 p.m., GWVS Art Museum.

Admission is $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $9.50 for children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. General admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of address. There is a $5 per person special exhibit fee to view Wolf to Woof. Hours during school vacation week are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. MassMutual is the 2015-16 premier sponsor of the Springfield Museums.

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