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>> CHILDREN'S MUSEUM HOSTS A WONDERLAND OF EXPLORATION AND A BIRTHDAY BASH FOR A FAMOUS POOCH!


 Let's party: The Children's Museum of Richmond has two busy weekends ahead with the Snow Days Festival and Clifford's 50th birthday celebration at three locations.
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Date published: 1/17/2013

BY COLLETTE CAPRARA

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

The folks at the Children's Museum of Richmond are inviting area families to join them this month for two special events that will provide memorable fun-filled activities for children. It's also an opportunity to sample the museum's bevy of ongoing interactive displays and creative projects.

This Saturday, the Snow Days Festival will feature the crowning of the 2013 Snow Queen scholarship winner--a wonderful role model for little girls whose selection includes consideration of her service activities and vision for the community and world. After donning her tiara, this year's Snow Queen will lead a story session and be available for photos with visitors.

The Snow Days Festival activities will also include a puppet show presented by the Up In Arms Puppet Troupe, face-painting and a craft session in which guests can create their own snowflake.

Weather permitting, the museum's snow machine will give young visitors an opportunity to play in the snow in CMoR's backyard; visitors also can snack on a frozen treat.

The weekend of Jan. 26- 28 will feature celebrations at CMoR's three sites for the 50th birthday (yes--five decades!) of that laughable, lovable Big Red Dog--Clifford. Festivities will begin at the museum's Chesterfield location, where Clifford will share his cake with visitors, and he'll also be onsite throughout Sunday and Monday at the Short Pump and Richmond Central locations as well. At all three sites, Clifford will receive birthday cards crafted by his guests in the museum's art studio and will participate in special activities and story times. Word has it that Clifford's one birthday wish is for visitors to bring a book to donate to the CMoR Book Bank.

For more than three decades, the museum has provided a hands-on experience where children can learn about the social relationships and nature of their community and the world beyond through spontaneous unstructured play, exploration, and problem-solving activities. Scenarios such as the museum's Little Farm, Town Square, Tree Climber and Backyard Exhibit enhance the sensory perception, motor skills, and societal awareness of toddlers, preschoolers and elementary schoolchildren.

"Having a variety of exhibits helps educate and expose children to different situations that they may actually encounter in life outside of the museum, such as a grocery store, doctor's office, playhouse theater, and tree house," said the director of arts and special events, Meredith Timberlake.

Each location also includes an art studio where activities are offered for children to explore new materials and mediums and craft take-home creations.

Collette Caprara is a local writer and artist.


Where: Children's Museum of Richmond:

CMoR Central: 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond

CMoR Short Pump: 2200 Old Brick Road, Glen Allen

CMoR Chesterfield: 6629 Lake Harbour Drive, Midlothian

When: Open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Special events are included with admission: $8 per person. Free for under age 1. Info: 804/474-7000; c-mor.org SNOW DAYS FESTIVAL

Saturday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., CmoR Central

CLIFFORD'S 50TH BIRTHDAY BASH

Saturday, Jan. 26: CMoR Chesterfield, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 27: CMoR Short Pump, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 28: CMoR Central, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.