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Just For Kids    |    for Kids Only

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published on 09/13/2007

“Cool Wonders” Brings Winter Fun to Creative Discovery Museum


Climbing the Mountain
Creative Discovery Museum’s annual winter exhibit, Cool Wonders, opens on Saturday, October 27. The exhibit offers a collection of fun winter-themed activities, from dress up play to physical activities like a winter climbing structure and a skiing simulator. Science demonstrations show the science of cold temperatures. And children can write letters to I.C. Wonders, the exhibit’s cartoon mascot.

Cool Wonders will be open October 27, 2007 through January 6, 2008 in the Museum’s upstairs exhibit gallery. This very popular exhibit is the result of collaboration between the Museum and the UTC Student Art Cooperative.

The Exhibit
The journey through this winter wonderland begins inside a warm Winter Cabin complete with cozy furniture, wooly clothes, and a fireplace. Children can actually pet the cabin’s resident mouse! (With staff assistance, of course.)

But this cabin hides a secret entrance to another realm! Grab a scarf and hat, enter through a special entrance hidden in a wardrobe or through a door within a door, and explore the winding Blizzard Maze.

On the other side of the maze lies the Winter Forest. Here children can dress up like a grizzly bear; crawl into a stump and hibernate in a winter den; and play with animal hand puppets… wolf, mouse, bear cub and more. Kids can make their own animal tracks and identify tracks of deer, bear, squirrel, chipmunk and many more.

Next is Ice Mountain, an eight-foot high climbing structure that is a challenge for all ages. After climbing the mountain, children can go fishing in a realistic Ice Fishing Hut or try their skill racing down the slopes on an interactive downhill Skiing Simulator.

The Science of Cold
Beginning Nov. 3, science demonstrations will use liquid nitrogen to show how exposure to extremely cold temperatures changes things. “We’ll give visitors a chance to see what happens when a balloon gets hit with super cold or watch an air cannon explode when it is powered by liquid nitrogen,” said Erica Campbell, Museum Experience Manager. Liquid nitrogen science demonstrations will be presented on weekends and holiday weekdays from Nov. 3 until March 8.

Other science activities will show how different materials conduct heat and cold differently, make artificial snow, and use vegetable shortening to show how blubber insulates whales from cold water. These demonstrations will be presented during the Cool Wonders exhibit period, from October 27 through January 6, 2008.

I.C. Wonders
Children can also write a letter to I.C. Wonders, the cartoon mascot of the Cool Wonders exhibit. Over the years, hundreds of children have written letters to I.C. Wonders, asking things like how many points there are on a snowflake and why it doesn’t snow more often in Chattanooga. Every child who includes a return address with their letter receives a letter from I.C. wonders in response, with a coupon good in the Creative Discovery Museum gift shop.

“Kids love to get letters. It makes them feel important, and it’s extremely important for children to know that what they say can also be written. Making that connection, even if the parents do the writing, is very important for building reading readiness,” said Dr. Jayne Griffin, Director of Education at Creative Discovery Museum.

School Tours
Themed school tours of Cool Wonders are offered for a limited time, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 14. Activities include time in the exhibit gallery, an art lesson about animal tracks, a science experience where students make their own snow and learn about how animals keep warm in freezing temperatures, and a liquid nitrogen science demonstration. “Teachers and students alike will be amazed at the unique ways the ideas of freezing and boiling substances, expansion and contraction, and states of matter are presented,” said Dr. Griffin. To make reservations for a school tour, call or .

Creative Discovery Museum is open Monday through Saturday (except Wednesday): 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday: noon - 5 p.m.; Wednesday: Closed. Tickets are $8.95 for children and adults. Creative Discovery Museum is located at 321 Chestnut Street in downtown Chattanooga. For more information, call , or visit

Creative Discovery Museum is recognized as one of the top children’s museums in the nation. It is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to educational enrichment for children ages 4-months to 12-years-old through interactive, hands-on experiences that foster creative and critical thinking. CDM focuses on a broad range of areas encompassed by Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Technology and the Sciences. In addition to its exhibits, CDM provides local residents and visitors with special events, educational programming, teacher resources for the classroom, field trips, after school programming, early childhood education classes, artist residencies, camps, art lessons, science demonstrations, and a branch of the local library. Creative Discovery Museum is a funded agency of Allied Arts and Tennessee Arts Commission.

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