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Bubbling with fun ... four Sacramento museums for children.

Sparking curiosity and homing in on a child's natural inclination to touch are the cornerstones of four children's museums in Sacramento. Each institution emphasizes hands-on interaction, from creating folk art to learning how technology aids communication.

The Discovery Gallery, at the Crocker Art Museum, 215 O Street, presents instructive children's workshops, generally with a historical theme. This month's project complements the museum's main exhibit, Tesoras de la Raza: Folk Art of Mexico. Activities include instruction by resident artists on making traditional Mexican paper cutouts (papel picado). Children of all ages are welcome.

The Discovery Gallery is on the ground floor of the museum, which features art from around the world. Crocker Park, adjacent to the museum, is good for picnicking. Museum hours are 1 to 3 Saturdays. Admission is $2.50, $1.50 for seniors, and $1 for ages 7 through 17. For information, call (916) 449-5423.

The Sacramento Children's Museum, at 1322 O Street, once called itself a museum without walls, because its programs-which usually focus on the local environment took place throughout the community. Last March, the museum found a permanent home, just a block from Capitol Park, and opened with a Smithsonian exhibit on kaleidoscopes. A show on Sacramento architecture runs through this month, including a walking tour of the city's Capitol neighborhood and hands-on design and building using period-style building blocks. The exhibit is designed for ages 4 through 12; children must be accompanied by an adult. The museum is open to the public from 10:30 to 4:30 Saturdays and Sundays, and to group tours (by appointment) from 10 to 2 Tuesdays through Thursdays; to reserve or for information on other exhibits, call 447-8017. Admission is $2, $1 per person for groups of 25 or more. The Sacramento Science Center, at 3615 Auburn Boulevard, probes everything from bacteria to outer space. In October, it features an exhibit on communication. Children can pretend to be deejays in a mock radio station, talk on a cellular phone, and make a digital picture. From 9 to noon on October 7, children can learn magic tricks to perform in the warm-up act for a magic and entertainment show that evening. The workshop is limited to 15 children, ages 8 and up; cost is $10. The show costs $6.50 for adults, $4 for children 3 through 15. (Time of the performance was still being determined at press time; call the center for more details or to sign up for the workshop.)

The museum's permanent attractions include a planetarium and a roomful of animal guests owls, iguanas, and a hairy tarantula. Outside the museum, a 1/4-mile nature trail encircles a duck pond and passes through plant communities native to northern California. The museum is open noon to 5 Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 8:30 Fridays, and 10 to 5 Saturdays and Sundays; for more information, call 449-8255. A mission is $2.50, $1.50 for seniors, $1 ages 3 through 15. Planetarium shows are at 11 and 1 Saturdays and Sundays; cost is $2, $1 ages 6 through 15.

The Visionarium a fun house with an educational drift-presents exhibits on movie-making and bubble experimenting, and a "What if you couldn't ... ?" display on disability awareness. A safe tumbling area, filled with giant cushions, is for children under 4.

The museum is on the second level of the Sutter Square Galleria, at 29th and K streets; for details, call 443-7476. Hours are 10 to 6 Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 Sundays. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $4 ages 2 through 14, $2.50 for adults, $2 for 6 months through 1 year.
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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Oct 1, 1990
Words:608
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