Bruce Museum goes ‘In the Dark’ with new programs

Nocturnal Forest from In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies will be part of the exhibit.  —Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Museum Center

Nocturnal Forest from In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies will be part of the exhibit.
—Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Museum Center

Are you afraid of the dark? Hopefully you’re not because as part of its latest exhibit, The Bruce Museum is inviting visitors to ponder the darkness and the animals that thrive in it.

The exhibition, which is titled In the Dark: Animal Survival Strategies, explores different environments of darkness and the unique life forms that inhabit them through a combination of hands-on and whole-body interactives, specimens and walk-through dioramas.

According to the museum, the exhibit is designed to be immersive, entertaining and family-friendly to bring in visitors of all ages to discover how animals adapt to living in the dark and learn how to help preserve fragile worlds without light.

In The Dark was organized by the Cincinnati Museum Center and underwritten by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund. It will be on view from Jan. 25 through April 13 at the Bruce.

But the exhibit won’t be the only aspect of this new program. As part of the museum’s commitment to education, there are several accompanying complementary public programs scheduled for the upcoming months. From Tuesday, Feb. 11 to Friday, Feb. 14, the museum will provide workshops called Creatures of the Night! for students who are on their winter breaks from school.

The hour-long workshops, which will last from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., have been designed to provide hands-on workshops for students in first to third grades who will explore the exhibition and then work on related projects.

These workshops are suitable for students of all abilities. The cost of the workshops are $5 for members and $7 for non-members per child, per day. The cost includes all materials. People can RSVP by calling 203-869-0376 or emailing child’s name and requested date(s) to [email protected]

Then on Feb. 21 there will be the  Night At the Museum Family Benefit from 5 to 8 p.m. This family-focused event will feature a movie on the museum’s big screen, craft activities, silent auction, full dinner buffet and an open wine bar. Children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas for an evening that the museum promises will be fun for all. For more information or to receive an invitation, contact Jen Bernstein at [email protected]

On Mar. 12 the museum will hold Look & See: In the Dark! from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. The museum said that this will be a program especially designed for children ages three to five years and their caregivers to explore the museum’s exhibition through hands-on experiences, stories and more. After the exhibition, there will be crafts where children can make their own night creatures. The cost is $5 for members and $7 for non-members per child, per class. Parents/guardians can attend free but a RSVP is required.

The Animals of the Dark Family Day will be held Sunday, Mar. 30, 1 to 4 p.m. As part of this event, at 2 p.m. and again at 4, animal specialist Rob Mies from the Organization for Bat Conservation, will teach visitors about animals that live in the dark such as owls, bats and sloths. Activities will include making night-creature crafts. All activities are suitable for students of all abilities ages five years and up. Admission is free with museum admission.

Additionally there will be school tours to focus on education curriculum standards in the natural sciences. Inquiry-based programs will provide enrichment that complements STEM and Next Generation Science Standards.

For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203-869-0376 or visit Brucemuseum.org.

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