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Anchorage's lively science museum.

An antidote to wintertime cabin fever: that was part of the inspiration for Anchorage's 1-1/2-year-old Imaginarium. It's also one reason the place is livelier than many children's science museums. If Anchorage is on your itinerary, consider stopping by Exhibits designed to teach Alaskan children about their environment can also be a fine introduction to the state for visiting youngsters-and a haven of interesting activity in gloomy weather.

Some exhibits, such as the bubbles lab and the "colossal climber" play structure, are similar to others elsewhere. But even the climber's design-part airplane-is topical (alluding to Alaska's main form of transportation), and many displays are inspired by the Arctic environment.

Bears pop up everywhere: on a mural comparing visitors' heights with those of local wildlife, in a climbable wooden sculpture, in an icy blue fiberglass den children can explore, and in a food-chain hierarchy of stuffed animals-herring, king salmon, seal, and polar bear-that can be fitted inside one another, all eventually to be contained in the bear's zippered stomach. A touch tank lets you closely observe and even handle tidal creatures from south-central Alaska.

The center, at 725 W. Fifth Avenue, is open 1 to 6 Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 to 6 Saturdays, noon to 5 Sundays; June I through Labor Day, hours are 10 to 6 daily except Sundays. Admission is $4, $3 seniors, $2 ages 2 through 12.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Imaginarium, Anchorage, Alaska
Date:Apr 1, 1989
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