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By Ann Zeise
I'm not counting the "collection" in our garage,
no I'm not! As some of you know, we homeschool our son. So I'm
going to talk about our favorite "field trips" in the
area. I'm going to focus on places for children and the young
Children's Discovery Museum
We were members for years when Scott was younger,
going to the BIG PURPLE BUILDING where they "let you play
in the street" almost once a month. Well, the "street
motif" is gone, but the newer design provides room for more
hands-on exhibits. The Children's Discovery Museum
is easily reached by the Light Rail, stopping right in front
of the building. Getting there by train doubles the fun. The
museum is located on Woz Way, named after Apple Computer's inventor, Steve Wozniak,
who was the prime benefactor for the museum. The museum is supported
by individual and corporate members.
Children are encouraged to get right in exhibits and think
and play with the concepts. Interactive workshops are scheduled
for Sunday afternoons. Contact the Children's Discovery Museum
for more information. Their phone number is 408-298-5437.
Now the Scott's a teenager, The Tech Museum of Science &
Innovation is by far the coolest museum in Silicon Valley. Upon
entering, he makes a beeline for the submersible robots on the
Second Sunday each month is free admission.
We also like to see whatever movie is playing at the IMAX
If you can't make it to The Tech today, visit their online
galleries and mess around with science for a bit.
The Tech has its fabulous
store online for those looking for science stuff for home
education. I just wish they had their books in here, too.
At the Intel Museum in Santa Clara, you can experience the
power of computer chips first hand, and the evolution of their
development. Explore the pages of the site and interact with
our Web movies to learn more about the museum and computer chips.
Intel Corporation's Robert Noyce Building, Main Lobby
2200 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, California
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
An affordable, sustainable, conservation-centered outdoor adventure for families with children.
San Jose Historical Museum
When you've completed your stay at the park and zoo, take
the little train over to the San Jose Historical Museum, which is more
of a city than a "museum." I think all the historic
buildings in the area are hauled here, renovated, and then opened
to visitors. Children will like the horse drawn trolley rides
and O'Brian's Candy Store. The dentist office will help them
appreciate their dentist even more!
four year old once told me he didn't believe in mummies, so I
took him along with us to the Egyptian Museum. Maybe ghosts are
debatable, but mummies are in abundance here! Welcome. The Rosicrucian
Egyptian Museum, architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon
at Karnak, houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts
on exhibit in the western United States -- including objects
from pre dynastic times through Egypt's early Islamic era.
No feature about area museums would be complete without a
note about our most famous tourist trap/historical house. You
are kept waiting for the next tour in the gift shop, so it's
a bit hard not to spend more than you intended.
Not many remember, but the Winchesters not only invented rifles
but also roller skates! One section of the store is dedicated
to a "museum" of the inventions of Mr. Winchester.
If you stick to this end of the premise before the house tour,
you'll have a much less expensive stay.
The mansion was continuously under construction for the life
of its owner, Sarah Winchester. I'll let the link tell the story.
What is myth and what is fact is frequently debated locally.
It's an especially spooky place to visit in October and open
all night on Halloween.
San Francisco's Exploratorium
I know, I know, the Exploratorium isn't in Silicon Valley,
but it's only about 40 miles away and we're up there so often
it FEELS like it's nearby. Membership in the Tech Museum of San Jose also gets you in
free here, so what the heck! Go to San Francisco, too. Spend
the day dissecting a cow's eye. It's not as gruesome as it sounds.
Everyone gets to be a kid and just play with all this scientific
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife
Located in Alviso, within bicycling distance of Milpitas,
the Center is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of
significant wildlife habitat in South San Francisco Bay, to the
protection of endangered and threatened species, to the protection
of migratory birds, and to providing opportunities for wildlife
oriented nature study and recreation.
More to do in Milpitas Area
I have additional links for historical information and places
to visit in "Milpitas
History." Also try "Fun"
for a list of fun things to do in the Milpitas area.
See also: The Events Calendar