Short Stuff: Museums and a Mini-Marathon | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Short Stuff: Museums and a Mini-Marathon

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Published May 17, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.


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Wonderfeet Kids' Museum to Expand in Rutland

Kids and families will soon have more to explore in downtown Rutland, thanks to a partnership between Green Mountain Power and Wonderfeet Kids' Museum. In a few months, Wonderfeet will pack up its sensory table, Lego collection and interactive train exhibit and move to Green Mountain Power's nearby Energy Innovation Center on Merchants Row.

The new location isn't far from its current home, noted Wonderfeet executive director Danielle Monroe. "We literally don't even need to cross the street to get there," she said. But it'll be a big upgrade.

The new space is three times larger. But the new rent? Just $1 a year. Thanks to support from Green Mountain Power and other local sponsors, Wonderfeet will be able to add new exhibits, as well as second-floor classrooms so that it doesn't have to close its doors to the public while school groups are visiting and camps are in session. This summer, Wonderfeet will be closed on weekdays in July and August.

During that time, Wonderfeet staff will use the museum van to bring mobile exhibits to community events. The museum, which started in 2010 as part of a creative economy planning session, now brings 20,000 people to Rutland each year, and with the expansion, that number is poised to grow. Said Monroe: "It's a very exciting time for us."

— C.R.


Mini Marathon Seeks Runners — and Spectators

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The Vermont City Marathon & Relay is back on track: Vermont's largest sporting event takes place Sunday, May 29, on the streets of Burlington. The slightly less grueling Mini Marathon for runners ages 4 to 14 takes place the day before.

Organized by RunVermont and sponsored by Timberlane Dental Group, the Mini Marathon offers a two-mile competitive race open to ages 9 to 14, as well as one-mile and half-mile noncompetitive runs for kids ages 4 to 14. Adults can run alongside their kids during the half-mile race for free. Registration costs $20 per child and closes on May 25. Day-of sign-ups are not available.

Not up to running? Spectators are welcome, too. Michelle Dow, RunVermont's director of youth programs, is looking forward to watching the young runners. "It's such a joy to be out there and see their smiling faces," Dow said. "You will have kids who don't think they can run or walk another step, and the encouragement that they get from other kids out on course is really heartwarming to see."

— C.C.

Visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for Free This Summer

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When the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes opens for the season on Saturday, May 21, it will debut a new exhibit about the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and a new admissions policy. From now on, visitors can enjoy the museum free of charge.The museum has also adopted a pay-what-you-can model for its camps and teen expeditions. "We don't think cost should ever be a barrier for anyone to access our region's rich and complicated history or experience Lake Champlain," said Meg Salocks, the museum's director of marketing and engagement.

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The museum's offerings this summer include "The Clean Water Act at 50," which explores the landmark environmental protection legislation and its effect on Lake Champlain, as well as an 18th-century blacksmithing forge and "Nebizun: Water Is Life," an exhibit curated by Vera Longtoe Sheehan and the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from May 21 through October 16.

— C.R.