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Travel WNY: Buffalo Museum of Science, Free Admission Jan. 16

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By Mary Heyl

If your family has developed a serious case of cabin fever, then it’s time to get in the car and visit the Buffalo Museum of Science (BMS), which has a cure for every member of the family!

Located at 1020 Humboldt Parkway in Buffalo, the museum offers several interactive exhibits and events that are sure to keep your family busy this winter. There’s no better time to visit than Monday, Jan. 16 on Martin Luther King Day for the museum’s Explore Together event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which includes free museum admission all day!

The BMS has a long, rich history beginning with the creation of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences in 1861. After several different short-term locations throughout the city, the society officially opened its permanent location on Humboldt Parkway on Jan. 19, 1929. Since then, the museum has grown to include the 264-acre Tifft Nature Preserve in 1982 and the addition of the Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet Elementary School in 1990, making the BMS the first museum in the country to have an elementary school attached to a museum. In recent years, the BMS has added the National Geographic 3D Cinema, which offers three different 40-minute films that play throughout the day including Asteroid: Mission Extreme, Living in the Age of Airplanes, and Extreme Weather.

Monday’s Explore Together event is sponsored by Independent Health and includes a full day of family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Families can take part in health and nutrition quiz games, a scavenger hunt, a prize wheel, and a smoothie-making sample station. Independent Health pharmacists will be hosting the “Ask the Pharmacist” station, where guests can learn about the best ways to prevent and remedy common winter health conditions, such as ear infections, colds, the flu, and asthma. To further promote health and wellness, the BMS will have free blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index screenings, as well as HIV and HCV testing through Evergreen Health Services. Giveaway bags will be given to all guests while supplies last, and the event concludes with a grand prize drawing for a $500 gift certificate to Bert’s Bikes and Fitness.

In addition to these Explore Together activities, guests can enjoy the museum’s 12 interactive exhibits for free on Monday.

The Bug Works exhibit features the many different insects in our ecosystem and their sounds, life cycles, survival skills, and more. Visitors can walk through the Bug Hive to learn about these insects and the specimens that make up the museum’s Entomology Collection.

Our Marvelous Earth takes visitors on an adventure through the Earth’s many systems from weather to geology. The Storm Team 2 Weather Center allows guests to create their own forecast and record themselves in action! Experience winds up to 75 mph in the Colliding Forces wind chamber, and learn how Niagara Falls creates hydroelectric power.

You can’t miss Seymour and Stanley, the museum’s largest artifacts that date back 3 million years! Seymour is a mastodon skeleton, a relative to the elephant, and Stanley is an Albertosaurus, a member of the Tyranosaurus Rex family. The museum has a large collection of Mastodon remains that museum staff, researchers, and volunteers spent almost 30 years uncovering at its Ice Age dig site in Byron, NY.

Coming soon for a limited time is the museum’s newest exhibit: Guitar: the Instrument that Rocked the World, which is open from Saturday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, May 7. Guests can learn about this popular instrument through the lens of science in this interactive exhibit that features several legendary guitars, including the Guinness Record-breaking 43.5 foot long playable guitar! If you’ve ever wondered how wood, steel and string can make such a powerful sound, this is the exhibit for you.

The BMS, located at 1020 Humboldt Parkway, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and free parking is available in the museum parking lot. For more information, call the museum at (716)896-5200 or visit their website www.sciencebuff.org. Follow the Buffalo Museum of Science on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new events and exhibits year ‘round.

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