Second Saturdays for Families

Location: First Floor Time Lab, Michigan History Museum, Lansing
Time: Drop-in, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ages: 5 - Adult

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and History may be taught separately in schools, but they are really not so different after all. Science meets our human past in this series of Second Saturdays for Families programs. Each month, explore an exciting historical topic from our exhibits paired with a hands-on experiment or project. All supplies are provided and you get to take your project home.

Adults and kids will love these creative hands-on activities:

  • September 8: Great Lakes Lighthouses
    With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, it's no wonder that Michigan boasts more lighthouses than any other state. The Au Sable River, which empties into Lake Huron, once had a lighthouse to help vessels find the mouth of the river. In this final program in celebration of our just-ended "The River that Changed the World" exhibit, you can design and take home your own lighthouse.
  • October 13 - Michigan Archaeology Day
  • November 10 - Copper and Circuits
    The Upper Peninsula was hiding a valuable secret when it became part of Michigan - copper. Visit our Mining Gallery to find out why copper was so valuable. Then, test its conductivity by creating an electric circuit.
  • December 8 - Awesome Automobiles
    Automakers like Henry Ford and Ransom E. Olds launched Michigan into the forefront of the automobile industry. Experiment with the physics of propulsion and movement by creating a balloon-powered car. Then, visit our Farm to Factory Gallery to explore the history of the amazing automobile.
  • January 12, 2019 - Simple Machines
    Michigan's historic lumbering industry led to the invention of helpful machines like the Big Wheel. Explore engineering by building and testing your own simple machine. Afterward, stop by our Lumbering Gallery to see a real Big Wheel and try to figure out how it works.
  • February 9 - How Parachutes Work
    During World War II, Michigan became known as the Arsenal of Democracy for its role in manufacturing parachutes and other supplies for the war effort. Explore how parachutes work by conducting your own parachute experiments.
  • March 9 - Build A Bridge
    Have you ever driven across the Mackinac Bridge and wondered how it was built? It was an amazing feat of engineering. Join us in testing several bridge designs before exploring the history of the Mackinac Bridge in our Upper Peninsula Gallery.
  • April 13 - How Sound Travels
    Cruising down a Michigan road with the radio on is fantastic, but did you know radio used to be the main form of entertainment for Michiganders? Explore our 1930s bungalow exhibit to discover the importance of radio. Then, dive into the science behind it with your own sound wave experiments.
  • May 11 - Say Yes! To Michigan Day
  • June 8 - Mid-Century Toys
    Get groovy as you explore density and states of matter by creating your own lava lamp. Afterward, check out other mid-century toys and gadgets in our 1950s Gallery.
  • July 13 - Movies and Optical Illusions
    Explore our 1920s exhibit to see examples of cinematic history that impressed Michiganders of the past. Find out about the technology behind early films and create your own zoetrope to see how optical illusions can trick your brain.

Each Second Saturdays for Families program is included with museum admission. You can save on admission and receive other great benefits when you become a Michigan History Center member.

The Michigan History Museum—flagship of the Michigan History Museum System—is located in the east wing of the Michigan Library and Historical Center. Sunday admission and weekend parking are free. Read more Michigan History Museum visitor information.

We invite you to explore our online calendar, where you'll find all Michigan History Center events throughout the state.

Updated 08/24/2018