The Children’s Museum is foregoing its annual gala this year.
Instead, it’s ready to launch you into space.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the museum will host a Family Space Fest from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 311 Main St.
There will be NASA and science exhibits, including a photo kiosk, a lunar rock and an astronaut Skyped into WUTR Meteorologist Jeff Matthews.
Saturday admission is $25 for adults and $5 for children. Sunday admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
“You’ve got to grab children’s attention while they’re young,” said Executive Director Marlene Brown. “Their brains are like sponges.”
Brown, a former high school teacher, began working at the Children’s Museum 12 years ago to create a learning environment centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The first floor features a wooden train, play space, a Healthy Kids Hut, a Hyperbolic Funnel and a Saturn car.
On the second floor, kids can play on the LED dance floor, explore an Iroquois Longhouse, examine Indian artifacts, see a history diorama of the Erie Canal and go on an adventure in the Paleontology Activity Center.
The Living Science Center is on the third floor, showcasing fish tanks, a live beehive, hamsters, a snake, a turtle and a weather station.
The fourth floor offers a wide variety of NASA exhibits, including replicas of the Mars rover, lunar lander, space shuttle, a real airplane and toy trains.
Proceeds gathered from Space Fest will benefit the Children’s Museum’s plans for a STEM Center and Planetarium. Blueprints of the planned STEM Center with the Planetarium will be unveiled at the event.