Hands-on Happenings

Children at the museum
Hands-on Happenings


Our hands-on programs are designed for children ages 5-12 and their families. Hands-on activities highlight different parts of the Museum's permanent and temporary exhibits and collections. Participants will make arts and crafts to take home and see demonstrations or performances where noted. Annual favorites include Safe Halloween, Chemistry Day and Festival of Health. ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE.

Contact Annette Hoppenworth at ahoppenworth@kvcc.edu, or call (269) 373-7955 to find out how you can become a Museum volunteer. Volunteers are recruited throughout the year.   All volunteers are required to fill out a background check.

  • Arts and Tech Talk
    December 5, 2018
    1 p.m.
    Students from Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Center for New Media will share their portfolio work and their multimedia creations related to paper airplanes.

  • Image of Judy Sima
    Judy Sima

    December 27, 2018
    12 p.m.
    Award-winning storyteller, author, and teaching artist Judy Sima lights up the holiday season with Hanukkah stories of miracles, menorahs, and magic dreidels. Combining folk, traditional, and modern tales with humor, song, and audience participation, her stories come alive in the hearts of all those who hear them.

  • Image of Ralph and Genevieve Stocker in shadow above the word Hello
    Ralph and Genevieve Stocker

    December 28, 2018
    12 p.m.
    Father and daughter Ralph and Genevieve Stocker first performed to a packed theater for the Museum’s Storytelling Festival a few years ago. Since then, they have performed at libraries and schools in the area. These two artists create a moving series of sand paintings to music and song. Join them for a holiday sing-along as their sand drawings are projected onto the big screen.

  • Image of Rosie Chapman
    Rosie Chapman

    December 31, 2018
    12 p.m.
    Actress and storyteller Rosie Chapman has graced audiences in Scotland, Australia, Germany, Canada, and all over the United States. She masterfully weaves audience participation, education, and entertainment together as she shares folktales and her one-woman shows featuring dynamic characters from history. For the holiday break, she will share interactive African folktales with life lessons.

  • Image of a woman surrounded by drums.

    January 2, 2019
    12 p.m.
    What do you get when you combine drums and a community? Drummunity! Lori Fithian has orchestrated a high-energy performance with full audience participation. Using percussion instruments from all over the world plus a variety made from recycled materials, audience members of all ages will perform together. Drummunity fosters community building and connections, appreciation of differences and diversity, rhythmic skills and coordination, spontaneity, creativity, and fun!

  • Image of John Dudley with a magic wand and a special raccoon.
    John Dudley

    January 3, 2019
    12 p.m.
    John Dudley, a Museum favorite, will be back entertaining audiences during winter break. John combines traditional magic with modern, fast-paced fun for audiences of all ages. Visitors may join him on stage for one of his many tricks or just watch in wonder. John was a magician in residence at Deer Forest for over 15 years, is an instructor for Camp Abracadabra at the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, and has won many awards as well as authored several books and how-to videos.

  • Chili Cook-Off
    January 26, 2019
    11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Come taste and vote for a new vegan black bean and corn chili from the chefs at FireKeepers Casino. The Food Bank of South Central Michigan will be here sharing their mission to feed the community. Pick up your Bingo Card at the Museum, then stop by all the local participating restaurants and stores while sampling chili.

    We are thankful to the Food Bank and FireKeepers for providing our chili. FireKeepers proudly supports various charities, non-profit groups, and community service organizations. The Food Bank is devoted to feeding hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products, advocating for hunger-relief programs, and collaborating with others who address basic human needs. Come learn more about how you can serve the hungry in our community.

  • Storytelling Festival: Life in the Mitten
    February 1, 2019 - 5-8 p.m.
    February 2, 2018 - 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    The Seventh Annual Storytelling Festival, featuring stories and songs of Life in the Mitten, kicks off during Art Hop on February 1 with Robin Nott and Allison Downey. The stories continue on Saturday with Jenifer Strauss, Adam Mellema, Carl Behrend, Willie Payne, Genot Picor, and Benjamin Thompson. Join storytellers, musicians, authors, and educators as we explore life in the state of Michigan. Kazoo Books will be on hand with books by local authors and books on Michigan.