GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4) — While summer heat brings outdoor fun, the Grand Rapids Public Museum wants you to chill out with two new exhibits. Ice Age: Michigan’s Frozen Secrets and Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact open Saturday, May 20. Both exhibits offer several hands-on, interactive learning opportunities, including the chance to touch a real saber-tooth cat molar. You can also explore the impact of snow and learn about the Clapp Family Mastodon that was found here in Michigan!

The exhibits complement each other, as one focuses on the animals of the Ice Age, while the other takes a different approach to teaching about the global impact of snow.  Maranda spoke with science curator Dr. Cory Redman about the new exhibits and all the fun things they feature. 

The Ice Age took place about 11.7 thousand years ago and most of the animals featured in the exhibit are extinct today.  One of the most exciting elements featured in the exhibit is the Clapp family mastodon discovery.  While the museum is still curating and caring for the bones, it was able to put a few on display, and the discovery is simply amazing.  Can you believe a mastodon was unearthed north of Grand Rapids?  You can learn more about the discovery here.

The Ice Age: Michigan’s Frozen Secrets exhibit is sure to excite you, featuring a mix of real fossils and replica casts that give you a full perspective on the animals that used to roam Michigan. The Exhibit focuses on what Michigan was like during the Ice Age.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to encounter this eight-foot cave bear in the wild.

There will be a special mastodon presentation with Dr. Cory Redman at 11 a.m. on May 20 to promote the exhibit.  Redman will have a question-and-answer segment about the Clapp family mastodon discovery.  The event is included in the cost of admission. Learn more here.

It’s not every day that you get to play with a snowman in the middle of May, but don’t worry, you won’t need your jacket or your gloves. The exhibit, Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact, takes a fun and accessible approach to learning about snow. Taking a digital approach with a focus on graphic design and video games, those visiting the exhibit will learn about snow in an entirely different way. 

Both exhibits open this weekend and go through September, so there is plenty of time to chill out at the museum.  Don’t forget if you are 17 or under and a resident of Kent County, you get in free. You can learn more about the exhibits here

Speaking of snow, did you know that Disney Frozen the Hit Broadway Musical is coming to the DeVos performance hall this summer?  You read that right!  It is part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway Grand Rapids Series.  Maranda is giving away quite a magical package!  You can learn more about the contest and what you can win here