Hands-on Happenings

Children at the museum
Hands-on Happenings


Our hands-on programs are designed for children ages 5-12 and their families. Hands-on activities highlight different parts of the Museum's permanent and temporary exhibits and collections. Participants will make arts and crafts to take home and see demonstrations or performances where noted. Annual favorites include Safe Halloween, Chemistry Day and Festival of Health. ALL PROGRAMS ARE FREE.

Contact Annette Hoppenworth at ahoppenworth@kvcc.edu, or call (269) 373-7955 to find out how you can become a Museum volunteer. Volunteers are recruited throughout the year.   All volunteers are required to fill out a background check.

  • Summer Hands-on Happenings: Animal Instincts

    It’s going to be a zoo in Kalamazoo! This summer, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Wednesday programs are all about Animal Instincts. Seven weeks, ten different animal crafts each week, and a wild and fun atmosphere await visitors from June 27 to August 15 (no program on July 4). Stop in from 1 to 4 p.m. for these free art programs focused on what makes different animals unique.

    Scales, Feathers, or Fur, July 25: Discover animal skins and their unique variations. Design a zebra hand puppet and make an otter toy, assemble a porcupine and decorate an armadillo, make a crocodile rubbing and a fish print, assemble a butterfly and make a peacock, and decorate a ladybug fan and make a fluffy lamb.

    Friends or Foe, August 1: Decorate animals that get along and those that don’t. Color a bird ornament and a cat stick puppet, decorate a fish stained-glass window and assemble a pelican, scratch a dog design and color a sheep, create a remora fish picture and scratch a shark, and make a quail mask and color a wooden fox.

    Meat, Plants, or Both, August 8: Identify animals by what they eat and whether they are herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. Assemble a monkey pull toy and decorate a wooden bat magnet, color a squirrel and make a raccoon mask, make a cow bell mobile and color a chicken mask, create a sloth cup and design a bee flier, and color an owl mask and make a vulture bandanna.

    Two Feet or Four, August 15: Explore animals by how many legs they walk on. Stencil a kangaroo boomerang and fold a caterpillar, color a penguin bookmark and a cat stained-class ornament, color a swan stained-glass window and decorate a spider ornament, stencil a crab tray and color a frog placemat, and assemble an octopus and stencil a grasshopper visor.

    The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is the place to be this summer with new planetarium shows, the new Innovation Lab, and our summer exhibits, Cats & Dogs and Kalamazoo A – Z.