Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Mad Science Presents Star Trek Live

BELLINGHAM – The Mount Baker Theatre is proud to present Mad Science Productions performance of Star Trek Live, an out of this world, interactive adventure based on the most popular science fiction franchise of all time. This lively production will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 6:30pm. Tickets are only $10.00.

Star Trek Live Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before!
Photo by Mad Science

Audience members join Starfleet Academy only to be unexpectedly whisked into an adventure steeped in the grand tradition of Star Trek itself. Star Trek Live, combines cutting-edge special effects, unmatched audience interaction, and cool science to create an exhilarating and unforgettable theatrical experience

Eager to learn from Starfleet’s best and brightest, Captain James T. Kirk and Vulcan science officer Spock, our cadets assemble, anxious to prepare for their first day at the Academy and an exploration of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise. As we are introduced to the proud legacy of the most powerful and most advanced ship in the fleet, the Enterprise and Earth itself come under attack from alien forces, leaving the fate of the Federation in the hands of our cadets. Our cadets will have to quickly learn the intricacies of living and working in space, modern space travel and the latest in communication and technology as they draw on the achievements of science in the 21st century. It will require all our knowledge, ingenuity, logic and an exploration of science to discover what is happening and how to set things right before it’s too late!

Star Trek Live, is a thrilling, 60-minute journey for audiences of all ages! Awesome special effects, unrivaled audience interaction and an exploration of real space-age technology takes everyone on an unforgettable journey through the Star Trek universe.

Join Star Trek Live, and boldly go where no one has gone before! Call 360-734-6080 for tickets or information.

This program is part of the Wade Bennett King Education Series sponsored by the Wade King Family. The Mount Baker Theatre receives support from a Tourism Facilities Grant from the City of Bellingham. The Mount Baker Theatre is also supported, in part, by grants from Whatcom County, the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Bellingham History Walk: Old Town District

What’s an inexpensive activity that the whole family can enjoy? How about a walk through Bellingham’s Old Town District? On your journey, you and your family will appreciate our community’s history, natural beauty, and various artistic and architectural achievements.

"Convergence" at Maritime Heritage Park. Gerard Tsutakawa’s “Convergence” and Old City Hall at Maritime Heritage Park.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

In the heart of the Old Town District, you’ll find Maritime Heritage Park on Holly Street. A good place to start is near “Convergence” (also referred to as “Confluence” by several sources), a 2001 fountain sculpture installation by Seattle artist Gerard Tsutakawa. Baseball fans might also recognize Tsutakawa’s 1999 sculpture “Mitt” from outside Safeco Field in Seattle. From this landmark, there are numerous sites of Bellingham significance that can be noted without leaving the greater park area.

Begin your trip by reflecting on the natural features of the waterfront setting and their connection to our city’s history. Looking west, you’ll see the Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. Just to the north of the sculpture is Whatcom Creek, which seemingly cuts the park into two distinct sections. Historically, the creek provided a vital life link for early tribal residents as they camped in the area and feasted on the fish and other provisions from nature.

Maritime Heritage Park Maritime Heritage Park and Bellingham Bay.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver sailed into the bay and bestowed the name of Bellingham to the area; he named the bay after Sir William Bellingham, who oversaw the provisioning of Vancouver’s expedition.

During the 1800s, white settlers arrived from the east. They were initially drawn to Whatcom Creek for fishing; eventually, the power of water for the emerging lumber business was also an appealing factor. These two industries helped turn the settlement into a community, and later, a city.

Across the street from the sculpture is a marker that indicates the dividing line between the early settlements of Sehome and Whatcom. These markers, also found along the South Bay Trail, are part of our greater local history when the towns of Fairhaven, Sehome, Bellingham, and Whatcom united to form what we now know as Bellingham in 1904.

Historical Marker Historical Marker and Old City Hall.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

Several architectural elements in the area reflect the early days of Bellingham. Before moving on for the rest of your tour, turn east to observe Old City Hall, built in 1892. The Late Victorian-style building is now one of three buildings that comprise the Whatcom Museum. You’ll see another museum building next door, the Syre Education Center, which was built in 1926 as the city’s fire station.

Facing west again, another noteworthy structure is the Waterfront Tavern, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2010. It is one of the few remaining wharf businesses built on pilings above the water. This building provides a reminder of how much the Bellingham Bay shoreline has changed throughout the years.

To see just how much it’s changed, check out the wall outside Rocket Donuts at Bay and Holly Street to see “Old Town Mural” by Lanny Little, which shows the local artist’s rendering of the area in 1906.

The Falls at Whatcom Creek The Falls at Whatcom Creek beneath Pickett Bridge.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

To the southwest, you can get a look at the old Georgia Pacific site. Its current state of transition provides further understanding of the shift in our area’s dependence on the wood products industry over the years. This also provides a great view into the potential future of the waterfront area and our greater community.

A short walk north out of the park on the Old Village Trail leads to the Whatcom Territorial Courthouse on Astor Street. Like many other buildings in the area, this structure was originally on stilts over the shifting shoreline of the bay. Constructed in 1858, the Territorial Courthouse is the oldest known brick building in the Washington Territory.

Continue a few blocks on the trail and you’ll reach the Pickett House at 910 Bancroft Street. Built in 1856, making it the oldest building in Bellingham, this was the home of Captain George E. Pickett. Pickett was the commanding officer of Fort Bellingham, and a historical marker at Pickett Bridge over Whatcom Creek at Dupont Street notes his leadership during the bridge’s construction in 1857.

Pickett House The Pickett House at 910 Bancroft Street.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

Pickett lived in Bellingham until 1861 when he returned east for the Civil War. His moniker lives on in military infamy as the namesake of Pickett’s Charge, an unsuccessful infantry assault during the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

If you’re up for a bit more walking, you can continue along the Old Village Trail to Elizabeth Park, the oldest park in the city system. Along the trail is a mix of historic homes, churches and businesses, as well as newer structures.

By the end of your journey, your kids will have a lot to digest, both in appreciation of our community’s unique locale by the water and its ongoing history.

What are some of your favorite features of Bellingham’s Old Town District? Please leave a comment below.

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Lightcatcher’s Family Interactive Gallery

The Lightcatcher Outside the Lightcatcher at night.
Photo by Tim Bies
Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Since the Whatcom Children’s Museum at the George S. Graham Building closed its doors last winter, local families have missed the great opportunities for art exploration and learning that the facility provided in our community. At the grand opening of the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher on Saturday, November 14, 2009, Bellingham families will finally get the chance to see the new children’s museum facility and discover that this state-of-the-art gallery was worth a yearlong wait.

"FeatherBall" by Anthony A. Howe FeatherBall by Anthony A. Howe, with mural by D.W. Miller in background.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

Known as the Family Interactive Gallery (FIG), the 3,000 square foot space feels like a natural yet playful extension of the high-art environment found at the new Museum. Each element at the FIG states an intention of balance: the balance of play with education, the balance of art with science, and the balance of broad appeal with age-appropriate activities.

Larry Ackerley, a museum industry professional and co-founder of LA CAB, developed and designed the FIG with museum educators, fabricators from Pacific Studio, and Smith & Vallee Woodworks. Inspired by the concept of trees, Ackerley wanted to fill the two-story gallery space with sculptures to expand the viewpoint of children upward.

In the gallery, art activities and pieces from the Museum’s permanent art collection are on display amidst curved walls, benches, and other interactive components made of wood. Crafted by Wesley Smith and Andrew Vallee, who worked on the Whatcom Museum’s Tree Project exhibit in 2002, the alder wood used throughout the gallery was grown and milled in Whatcom County.

3D Sculpture Activity Zone 3D Sculpture Activity Zone.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

Furthering the tree concept and bringing the eyes of children to the ceiling, an impressive mural by Bellingham artist D.W. Miller fills a full wall of the gallery; the green, abstract painting emphasizes the Northwest atmosphere that surrounds us in Bellingham, bringing nature inside the FIG.

Activities at the new facility include role-playing, kinetic movement, 3D sculpture, experimentation with light and color, stop-motion animation, and story-making. Although inspired by processes in the creation of art, subjects such as local history and natural science are also inherent lessons at each activity zone.

The Rain Hut Exploring the work-in-progress Rain Hut.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

With activities spanning such diverse topics, the FIG appeals to a broad range of ages and interest levels. In the center of the gallery, an enclosed space gives crawlers and toddlers a chance to explore art in a safe environment, protected from the more rambunctious activities of older children. As the activity areas are quite spacious, parents can explore art alongside their children, and the clear divisions between each zone create opportunities for individualized learning experiences.

In conjunction with the Whatcom Museum’s grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology for the Lightcatcher’s green roof, the FIG includes a Rain Hut that incorporates the sounds of nature and weather with educational information about what happens to storm water runoff. During a visit to the restrooms, kids can even learn about the rain harvesting cisterns at the Lightcatcher that save the Museum 200,000 gallons of water each year.

Larry Ackerley demonstrates the Stop-Motion Animation Diorama. Larry Ackerley demonstrates the Stop-Motion Animation Diorama.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

At the FIG, Museum staff will periodically bring an “ARTCART” out into the gallery for further exploration of art through spontaneous activities. A classroom is attached to the gallery for structured, large group learning as well; as in the past, this Activity Room will be available for Birthday Party rentals.

Executive Director Patricia Leach hopes that the new facility will allow the Museum to expand school programs with more integrated curriculums. Once Lightcatcher exhibitions and programs are up and running, the Whatcom Museum will begin a yearlong process to evaluate and plan future exhibits and programs at all three Museum facilities.

The Lightcatcher is located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Flora Street in Bellingham, Washington. Beginning November 14, 2009, regular Whatcom Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 PM. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors/military, $4.50 for children 5 and under, and free for Museum members. For more information, please call (360) 778-8930.

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