Explore the Final Frontier at the Space Station Museum in Novato
September 8, 2012Posted by pamela |
Are your kids interested in outer space? Bring your budding astronauts to learn about space exploration in a hands-on environment at the Space Station, Novato's free, kid-friendly space museum. Located in a storefront in the newly renovated Pacheco Plaza shopping center, the Space Station is a small but rich little museum that offers families and school groups a chance to explore the history of spaceflight and exploration.
Kid can see, handle, and even try on actual space artifacts, many of which have actually flown in space. Try on a pair of Russian cosmonaut's space suit gloves for size, wear a prototype space helmet designed for the Apollo missions, and sit in a seat from a Soyuz spacecraft.
Objects on view are part of the collection of the W Foundation, a non-profit founded by Ken Winans and his wife Debbie Wreyford-Winans, and include American, Russian, and Soviet-era space equipment, clothing, photographs, a meteorite, and more. The W Foundation also works with organizations and events like Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center, the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, and San Francisco Fleet Week to present educational exhibits on the history of space exploration.
The staff and volunteers at this little museum are friendly and knowledgable, and are happy to guide children through the exhibits and help them try out some of the artifacts. It's really a lot of fun and well worth a visit for families with kids five and older. Plan to spend at least half an hour there.
You'll also find on site a small shop with a great selection of outer space-themed toys, gifts, and even Christmas tree ornaments for sale.
Space for the museum is being donated by Pacheco Plaza, and it will be there as long as room is available for it. Since the space isn't very big, the museum will rotate different exhibits. Look for objects related to NASA's space shuttle program to go on view soon.
If You Go
The museum recently re-opened at a new location in Pacheco Plaza—it's now at 464 Ignacio Boulevard between Marin Coffee Roasters and Boca Pizzeria.
To get there, take Highway 101 to the Ignacio Boulevard/Bel Marin Keys exit, and head west on Ignacio Boulevard, and turn into the Pacheco Plaza shopping center.
For more information, visit www.thespacestationca.org or call (415) 506-3071.
(While you're at Pacheco Plaza, swing by Paradise Foods for bargain-priced 99¢ Lappert's ice cream cones.)