Delightful Stocking Stuffers at Discoveries Gift Shop

By MICHAEL L. SAMPSON

The Boonshoft Museum’s Discoveries Gift Shop is the perfect place for doing your upcoming holiday shopping. We all share that person or two on our list who are just hard to shop for. You rack your brain, time and time again, with little success as you search for playful, educational Stocking Stuffers. What the doctor ordered is a shopping trip to the fun and unique gift shop at the Boonshoft Museum.

The Discoveries Gift Shop offers special, one-of-a-kind gifts designed to entertain and

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Dino Transporter Truck

challenge young minds at the same time. Your young Einsteins could be playing with Carded Science Kits, Boxed Arrowheads and Shark Teeth, and reading books that make them think. Discoveries Gift Shop carries books about lots of scientific topics. Have a son or daughter who is curious about robots? How about that nerdy young mad-scientist with a thing for chemistry, destined to turn your house into a smoking ash heap?

At the top of this year’s under $10 Stocking Stuffers list sits the Ty-Beanie Babies, Beanie Boos, and Teeny Ty’s, as well as Carded Science Kits and a variety of die-cast toys, including a Dino Transporter Truck. The Pocket Volcano, Tornado Tube, and Lemon Clock are all bargains at $4.99; but you just HAVE to sample the Astronaut Ice Cream (yes, it is a thing!); and we really don’t want to forget the Jumbo Dino Hatch Egg.

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Hand Warmer Mugs

For the adult geeks in the mix, choose from among gifts under $15, like the charming Hand Warmer Mugs that come left or right-handed, Birthstone Soap Bars (betcha didn’t see that one coming!), a Fox Mug, and Salt and Pepper Shakers. There’s the Woodpecker Stapler, a cute Otter Tape Dispenser, and some quirky, colorful socks. The socks are adorned with images of either a Tyrannosaurus-Rex, or our beautiful planet Earth, or a selection of many other designs that I’ll bet you won’t find anywhere else!

Discoveries Gift Shop has lots of items of interest for explorers of all ages. If you still can’t decide, purchase a gift card and let those fussy folks choose their own gifts.

If any of these Stocking Stuffer gift ideas sound like winners to you, the Boonshoft Museum’s Discoveries Gift Shop is where you need to be this holiday season. Also, don’t forget to let us know you are a member to take advantage of your 10% to 20% discount! The Boonshoft Museum’s Discoveries Gift Shop will be closed as always on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Deck the Halls! Plan Your Holiday Get-Together at the Boonshoft Museum

By MICHAEL L. SAMPSON

When the temperature outside falls like the leaves on the trees, we’re reminded of the coming holiday season. If there must be cold weather, we’re at least blessed with a bit of holiday respite. Those days when families get together to share good times in a spirit of fun and enjoyment. When you think about planning that special family or company get-together, consider having your unique event at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

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Private events can make the most of Museum space to create a great atmosphere for guests.

The Museum makes a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays, and is the perfect locale for party animals of all ages. There’s no venue quite like it for an unforgettable, festive occasion. Imagine being surrounded by the mysteries of the universe, or dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago. Whether it’s family get-togethers, company Christmas parties, Kwanzaa or New Year celebrations, enjoy access to select areas of the Museum – or why not just book the total facility for your holiday celebration!

Book by November 28 (Cyber Monday) to hold that preferred date on your calendar. Special rates are available for holiday season rentals. To check out what you can save, contact Jodi Rettig, Manager, Sales and Rentals, at (937) 275-7431 x 113.

Jodi

With select rental packages, Museum guests can enjoy planetarium programs, Science On a Sphere® demonstrations, and live animal programs that actually encourage you to touch the animals. Get up-close and personal in the Tidal Pool with a leather sea star, chitons, and even the beautifully-colored sea anemonies. There’s private space in the Bieser Discovery Center for groups of up to 40 guests, or if you’re planning a larger bash, the Museum can accommodate up to 1000 of your closest friends! We’re also happy to recommend our preferred caterers, experienced at endowing Museum affairs with delicious flair. Imagine how fun and enlightening your event will be with our spectacular Museum exhibits, programs, and demonstrations as part of your memorable holiday affair.

Science @ Home: DIY Glow In The Dark Slime

We have a theory that has been well tested at the Boonshoft Museum; most children love gross, sticky goop. This theory isn’t quite as fleshed out as, say, Einstein’s theory of relativity or Newton’s Law, but we’re pretty sure it rings true—especially during Halloween. Zombie goo, vampire blood, witch’s brew—each monster or spook has some sort of gross fluid that completes their persona, and while we don’t necessarily believe in spooky monsters, we certainly celebrate the science behind them!

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Credit: Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures

This month’s Science@Home is a homage to one of the most popular ghosts of all time. Casper is the obvious choice, but he’s not quite gross enough—so we’re going to go with our favorite mischievous, hot-dog-eating ghost, Slimer, of Ghostbusters fame.

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Credit: Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures

Slimer is green, almost suspiciously green—as if he glows in the dark. So, why not make some Slimer slime? This glow in the dark goop is easy to make and only requires a few household items. See the complete experiment below:

DIY Glow in the Dark SlimeSafety First:

This experiment requires the supervision of an adult. Please remember to not eat/drink the science! Borax, glue, and paint should not come into contact with the mouth and/or eyes.

Ingredients:

½ cup glue

½ cup water

Borax solution (1 tsp. borax with 1 cup water, mix until borax is dissolved)

3 tbs. non-toxic glow in the dark paint

Directions:

In a bowl mix ½ cup glue and ½ cup water.

Once this solution is mixed add 3 tbs. glow in the dark paint.

In another bowl, mix 1 tsp borax with 1 c. water until the borax is completely dissolved.

Add the glue mixture to the borax solution, stirring slowly.

The glow in the dark slime will start to form immediately; stir this as much as possible, then with your hands, knead the slime until it gets less sticky.

Pour extra water (if there is any) out of the bowl.

Hold your glow in the dark slime under a light to expedite the “glowing” process.

Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

ghostbuster in training

Who you gonna call?

What is happening?

There are two reactions happening when you make your slime, one is the absorption of light and one is a polymer reaction. Think of the glue like long strands of spaghetti; now imagine trying to fit all of those spaghetti strands next to each other; difficult, right? This is where the borax comes in. Once the borax is added, it immediately creates a reaction that fuses the “glue strands” together—and poof—slime!

Well, what about the glow in the dark part? There are many reactions that can cause a glowing reaction, but for this purpose, phosphorescent paint does the trick. One your slime is exposed to energy from the light in a room, it releases it at a slower rate—which results in a “Slimer-esque” glow.

This experiment not only gives children an opportunity to explore chemistry, it gives them the opportunity to experience tactile learning, which is especially important for early learners.

Take it further: Halloween is around the corner and whether you are trick or treating as a mischievous ghost or a Ghostbuster in training, this completes the costume.

For some Halloween fun before trick or treating starts, visit the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Dayton for Spooky Science Saturday and the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield for their Halloween Kick-Off.

7 Experiences That Treat Your Sweetheart This Sweetest Day!

Mark your calendars! Sweetest Day is just about a week away, and this year, it’s all about special experiences with your loved ones. The prequel to Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day is a Midwest tradition, a day to celebrate your sweethearts, whether they are your partners, friends, or family.

While fall is immensely busy with school, extracurricular activities, and football (go Flyers, go Bucks), you still have a chance to make Sweetest Day special with some inexpensive, thoughtful experiences and activities that far surpass the typical “flowers and chocolates” routine.

7 Fun Experiences For You and Your Sweetheart This Sweetest Day, October 17:

Take a fall hike and enjoy the scenery! Fort Ancient is the perfect place for a fall hike. Not only will you be able to soak in all of the colors of fall, you will also get to see all of the historic features that make Fort Ancient and southwestern Ohio so special, like the 2000-year-old man made earthworks. Bring a camera to capture the changing of the seasons and the serene nature that is a part of this National Historic Landmark.

Access to the hiking trails, biking trails, and interpretive center are included with regular admission.

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Fall at Fort Ancient

Dig into some fun! On October 17, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Boonshoft Museum’s sister site, SunWatch, and the Archaeological Institute of America are hosting a day filled with history, games, and more! International Archaeology Day gives guests the chance to have professionals ID oddities found in your very own home. Visitors will also get to participate in guided tours of this prehistoric Village that is nestled just a stone’s throw away from downtown Dayton. International Archaeology Day is FREE to the public.

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SunWatch is the oldest National Historic Landmark in Dayton!

Give Back Together! Committing your time to volunteer as a family or with your significant other is always a great experience. Whether you clean out your cabinets and bring canned goods to a food drive, commit to a day of volunteering at a local organization, or make a donation to your favorite local charity, giving back always makes you feel accomplished.

The Dayton Society of Natural History is always looking for Volunteers for special events, projects, and daily Museum duties. We also have a myriad of different ways you can give to the Society, from making a gift to a cuddly member of our Zoo crew to supporting a specific Society site.

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We All Scream For Ice Cream!
Share a science-fueled ice cream sundae! Foodies and scientists alike will love this DIY Ice Cream Experiment. All you need is a few household items and all the fixings to make your perfect sundae.

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Space, Science, Natural History, and a Picnic!
Spend the morning bird watching in the MeadWestvaco Treehouse, take a stroll through the Discovery Zoo, stop by our newest exhibition, Cut From the Same Cloth, and then enjoy an outdoor lunch in our beautiful Amphitheater. The Boonshoft Museum has offerings for guests of all ages, so pack a picnic and enjoy!

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rotators_9_158Get Into The Spirit of the Season! We love a good Halloween costume and we have plenty of occasions at the Boonshoft Museum Dayton and Springfield for you to wear one! Spend the afternoon DIYing a creative costume with your sweetie, then show it off at Spirits: Halloween at the Boonshoft Museum.  This 21+ event makes for a great date night!

A Family Affair! If you are celebrating Sweetest Day with all of the sweethearts in your life, consider taking a trip to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield. Hands-on public programs, exhibits, and their newest traveling exhibition, Children of Hangzhou, are all included with regular admission.

To learn more about all of our Dayton Society of Natural History sites, click on the links below:

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Dayton

Fort Ancient

SunWatch

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield