Free admission to Children’s Museum this Friday

The weather in Missoula looks … iffy … today. It’s supposed to be sunnier, but colder, by the weekend. But who knows for sure?

If you’re looking for a bad-weather contingency plan, take note that the Children’s Museum is offering free admission this Friday.

As usual, the water table, dinosaur dig, treehouse, dentist/doctor room and tons of other great exhibits will be available for kiddos to explore. Also, for those who don’t have work or school in the late morning, there’s a taekwondo class taught by Master Corbin starting at 11 a.m.


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Not even the Carousel

We’re having a real blizzard. The schools are closed, many roads are closed and – and a sign things are really truly serious outside – even A Carousel For Missoula is closed.

Usually when we have a day off of school we spend some time down at the carousel. Since our short road is completely impassable, I’m glad I can tell the kids there’s no use in trying to get out.

Here’s the short note Theresa Cox (executive director of the carousel) sent out early this morning:

Good morning, all:

For those of you who are able to let people know of immediate happenings, please let them know the Carousel will not be open today, Friday, Feb. 28. If the weather is too bad for people to go to school, it’s too bad for them to risk a trip to the Carousel.
Thank you,

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Ravalli Republic looking for kids’ perspectives on the weather

One of my favorite little snippets of newspaper each day is the weather drawing featured on the Missoulian’s half-page weather section. The daily drawing is provided by a local kiddo, and boy are they ever clever.

Today’s, for instance, is by 11-year-old Madison Blank-Plautz of Missoula. She drew an ice skater pirouetting on a frozen pond, two evergreen trees to her right and a leafless deciduous on her left.

Isn’t that just exactly the weather today?

Now, via Missoula Editor, the Ravalli Republic is rolling out its own half-page of weather, and is looking for weather drawings from kids to run in the print edition along with it.

Ravalli County/Bitterroot Valley dwellers who know a child artist should slide a piece of 8-by-10 inch paper in front of the kid along with a box of crayons, markers or colored pencils (because after all, the page is run in full color).

Then, the sky’s the limit! Let those imaginations run wild. “We need drawings of all kinds of weather: sunny, rainy, windy, snowy, blowy, hot and humid,” Missoula Editor says.

The drawings can be mailed to Clint Burson at the Ravalli Republic, 232 W. Main St., Hamilton, MT 59840.

– MM

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Missoula Smokejumpers Center has new program for kids

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary rainy day activity? Know a kid who’s interested in forests, fires, firefighting – or maybe just wonders why Missoula’s skies are sometimes smoky? Take her to the Missoula Smokejumpers Center for a free three-hour learning experience through the center’s Junior Smokejumper Training Program.

It’s the center’s first summer running the program, which was patterned after a similar one in West Yellowstone. The program in Missoula has already seen about 100 kids come through, and will keep hosting sessions through the end of August, or as long as there’s interest, according to Molly Cottrell of the Missoula Smokejumper Base.

Cottrell, who is overseeing the Junior Smokejumpers, said that the program is designed for kids ages 6 through 12, but children of any age are welcome. She offers the program Monday through Friday, with a session in the morning and another in the evening – but asks that parents sign their children up for a session beforehand, as she doesn’t conduct the program on days when no kids are signed up.

Through the program at the visitor’s center, located at 5765 West Broadway Street, kids will meet a meteorologist in the National Weather Center as well as a real live firefighter, run through a set of physical fitness exercises akin to those performed by smokejumpers (weary parents are free to sit this one out), get a tour of the base and learn about the different kinds of tools and equipment used by firefighters (and what kid doesn’t love parachutes?), and even try on a junior-size smokejumper suit (so bring your camera!).

Here’s the number to call to sign up: 329-4934.

– Missoula Mom

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