AAHOM’s H2Oh! Is a Huge Hit!

“AWESOME! AWESOME!! AWESOME!!!” was my daughter’s exclamation as we entered the first floor of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum yesterday where the new H2Oh! exhibit is located. Her eyes lit up with excitement as she ran around the different parts of the exhibit before pausing to play with any of it.

On Friday, I shared information on Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum’s new exhibits, H2Oh! and Nano. Yesterday my daughter and I headed to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (AAHOM) to check out the new exhibits for ourselves. My daughter really wanted to see H2Oh! and was willing to forego our original plans to attend the Marshmallow Engineering Challenge at the library. This was our first visit to the museum since our visit last July right before our membership expired. We renewed our membership to have it available for travel this summer and for more visits to the museum.

H2Oh!

After purchasing our membership, we proceeded up the stairs into the museum with our first stop at H2Oh! which is in the gallery to the left at the top of the entrance stairs (There is an elevator right there if you have a stroller or wheelchair). This gallery previously contained the old water table and several other exhibits. The other exhibits have been removed and it is now just for H2Oh!

Dolphin in H2Oh!

“AWESOME! AWESOME!! AWESOME!!!” my daughter exclaimed as we walked up to H2Oh! Her eyes lit up with excitement as she dashed to different parts of the exhibit before pausing to play with any of it. When she was working on building a pipe system, she practically climbed onto the table. I was regretting that I hadn’t packed a change of clothes like I did when she was a toddler. Fortunately, she managed not to fall in and didn’t get too wet.

Building Pipes at H2Oh!H2Oh! Bubble Tower

My daughter tested out each part of the exhibit, some multiple times. Her favorite part was the water tornado with water jets that would balance a ball around it. She particularly liked the tall jet that picked the ball up from a track because it would splash back on you.


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Floating Balls at H2Oh!

Other AAHOM Exhibits

Of course we had to check out the entire museum. There were a few exhibits throughout the museum that also caught my daughter’s eye.

Nano Particles

After H2Oh!, we visited the new Nano Particle exhibit. She enjoyed the Hands On display and learning about the different aspects of Nano technology. She particularly enjoyed seeing that the Blue Morpho Butterfly’s blue appearance is due to nano features on the wings and that when exposed to a bright light from behind, they show the true brown color:

Blue Morpho Butterfly Nano Particles - no lightBlue Morpho Butterfly Nano Particles - with light

Google Earth

She also had a lot of fun with the Google Earth exhibit asking me to find her school, our house, her grandparents house, and more. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find certain streets in the Ann Arbor area due to tree cover. I guess Ann Arbor lives up to it’s Tree Town nickname.

Block Party

My daughter also had a lot of fun at the Block Party. It was quite a different experience now that she is 8 and built her own structure as compared to when it first opened when my daughter was 4 and she wanted us to build her a structure. The exhibit was originally slated for a 6 month run, but it has been so popular that they have replaced the blocks a few times and the exhibit is still very popular 4+ years later. This time she built a little house complete with a floor and a chair. She did a great job interlocking her blocks for stability.

Block Party at AAHOM

Preschool Gallery

For younger children, the Preschool Gallery is newly expanded. From our quick peek in, it appears that there is more room for the younger kids to explore at ground level. Even with the quick peek, my daughter was commenting on how much fun Engineers on a Roll looks (it was added after she was 5 and too old for the Preschool Gallery).

Visiting AAHOM

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is located at 220 E. Ann St in Downtown Ann Arbor. Street parking or nearby lots are available. (On weekends I recommend the courthouse lot at 4th and Ann St). They open are open 10a-5p on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9a-5p on Tuesdays, 10a-8p on Thursdays, and noon-5p on Sundays. Admission to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum is $11 for all those 2 and over. The offer discounted admission of $5 on Thursdays from 5-8p. ASTC Museum Members within 90 miles receive 1/2 price admission and those outside 90 miles receive free admission.

We definitely recommend a visit to the Hands-On Museum and a visit to these new exhibits.

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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