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Springfield Museums Announce Summer Spectacular Schedule

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums have announced the schedule for the final two weeks of its annual Summer Spectacular Family Series, which runs through Aug. 14.

Every Monday through Friday, families visiting the Quadrangle will find a schedule packed with hands-on art and science activities, live reptile demonstrations, and family entertainment for all ages. All programs and performances are free with admission unless otherwise noted. The 2015 premier sponsor is MassMutual; the Summer Spectacular is underwritten by the Berkshire Bank Foundation and the Charles H. Hall Foundation.

On Friday, Aug. 7, the museums will offer free general admission to all visitors as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday program. This year, 70 museums and cultural institutions across Massachusetts will participate in the program. Since its inception in 2009, Free Fun Friday has drawn more than 800,000 visitors to venues throughout the Commonwealth, with more than 165,000 people taking part last year alone. The free admission on Aug. 7 does not include planetarium tickets or special exhibit fees, and the museums are not able to accommodate groups on Free Fun Fridays.

The centerpiece of the six-week series is the array of top-tier family performers from around the Northeast, appearing in the Davis Auditorium every Wednesday through Friday at 11 a.m. This year’s slate includes a mini-residency by the Puppet People, who will perform every Thursday during the Spectacular, as well as shows by family favorites like the Nields and a host of others. A full schedule of performers is posted at www.springfieldmuseums.org. Featured performers during the final two weeks of the Spectacular include:

• Wednesday, Aug. 5: Jeff Danger Science Ranger performs “The Physical Science Show”;

• Thursday, Aug. 6: The Puppet People perform “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”;

• Friday, Aug. 7: Keith Johnson presents “Bubbleology: The Secret World of Bubbles” (two shows, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.);

• Wednesday, Aug. 12: “Folk Rock Family Music” by the Nields;

• Thursday, Aug. 13: The Puppet People perform “The Elephant Child”; and

• Friday, Aug. 14: Magician Steve Lechner presents “The Cabinet of Scientific Curiosities.”

Fun and educational presentations are offered every week during the Spectacular, starting with live animal demonstrations by Forest Park’s Zoo on the Go program from 1 to 2 p.m. every Monday. More live animal programs featuring reptiles from the Springfield Science Museum’s Solutia Live Animal Center take place on Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m.

Young visitors to the Science Museum during the Family Series can enjoy science, math, and technology activities every Monday through Friday at the Curiosity Corner, presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Curious George: Let’s Get Curious!” (additional fee applies). Fans of Curious George can meet the mischievous monkey on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (check Welcome Center for location).

The six-week Spectacular also features activity and dress-up stations available daily from noon to 4 p.m. in the Hasbro Games Art Discovery Center at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, and a hands-on History Cart with artifacts from years past at the Wood Museum of Springfield History on Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. There are also daily planetarium shows (additional fee required) and impromptu science demonstrations by the Roving Scientist at the museum’s Family Science Adventures Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

General admission is free for members and Springfield residents with proof of address, and covers admission to all four Springfield Museums and most Summer Spectacular activities. General admission is $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $9.50 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3 and museum members. For more information, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 322.

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