Every Sunday in February, the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay will be offering free admission to children 12 and under with an accompanying paid adult. The Door County Maritime Museum hopes to encourage more children to take interest in the importance of our local maritime history.
“In order to understand what history is this is a precious opportunity to spend time outside the classroom teaching children their local history,” says Amy Paul, museum executive director. “It encourages them to experience history first hand and learn why it is important to all of us. It is a pleasure to offer this chance for families to learn and play together.”
Kids can take their turn steering the Elba through the Sturgeon Bay Canal with the use of the interactive simulator. The Elba pilothouse is the actual bridge from the 420-foot steam freighter located in the Horton Gallery. Seven video screens fill the windows and simulate a real-time experience while visitors pilot their way through fog, clouds and bridges. The wheelhouse’s audio environment will include Kahlenberg engine sounds and on-board radio traffic to give the impression that the “captain” is actually navigating a ship.
Children and families can explore the four galleries with educational and interactive maritime history. Inside the Peterson Gallery, visitors will find the authentic periscope removed from the USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN-644). The fully working periscope allows a full view of the working waterfront and the shipyard and boatyards nearby. Children will delight in experiencing the view from a real working periscope.
Several interactive games are located throughout the museum, encouraging a hands-on learning experience for children. The Sentinels of the Shore exhibit allows them to get up close and personal with a full-size replica of the Door County Sherwood Point Lighthouse lantern. This 4th order Fresnel lens is usually 61 feet in the air. Visitors can see it close up and examine its multiple layers of glass prisms designed to concentrate the light and cut through a pitch-black night or thick fog. Also in the Sentinels of the Shore exhibit is the interactive lighthouse map. Both adults and kids can use it to illuminate individual lighthouses and track their beams as well as directing their light.
The Door County Maritime Museum is located at 120 N Madison St, Sturgeon Bay, WI. It is open seven days a week from 10 am – 4 pm. Museum admission is $10 for adults. Call the museum at (920) 743-5958 or visit www.dcmm.org for more information.