The Montshire Museum of Science is an interactive science center in Norwich, Vermont, with more than 150 hands-on exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outdoors, visitors can explore nature trails and exhibits on wind, water, and sound in David Goudy Science Park. Visiting exhibitions, educational programs, and special events are offered throughout the year.
The Montshire Reopens in July for an Exciting Outdoor Experience with Brand New Features
The Montshire Museum of Science will reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 8, offering an enhanced outdoor experience that includes David Goudy Science Park and miles of nature trails, as well as two new features — the special exhibition Prehistoric Giants and the forest play area, The Play Grove. Members will have the first opportunity to visit, from July 1 to July 5, during Member Appreciation Week.
To ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment, the Museum has made some changes to hours, admission, ticketing process, and visitor policies. Indoor exhibits will remain temporarily closed, while the Montshire focuses on providing a memorable and engaging outdoor experience.
The Montshire will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am to 4pm. It will be closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays, however summer camps will still take place on these days. To celebrate the Museum reopening, a promotional rate of $14 for adults and $11 for children will be available for the month of July. Admission is free for members and children under the age of 2.
The Museum is implementing a timed ticketing system to ensure that visitors can safely maintain social distancing. All visitors, including members, are required to pre-register. Tickets must be reserved in advance for either a morning arrival (10am–12:30pm) or an afternoon arrival (1:30–4pm). Tickets may be purchased or reserved up to three days prior to a visit. Visitors may arrive at any time during the arrival window chosen, and can stay until the Museum closes at 4pm. Detailed instructions are available on the Museum website.
The Montshire requires visitors who are age three and older to wear a face covering or mask when inside the building. Face coverings and masks are encouraged outside and required when interacting with Museum staff or other visitors. One-way directional traffic will be maintained in the building and in some outdoor spaces.
To encourage healthy hand hygiene, the Montshire has upgraded restrooms with many touchless features. The Museum has also increased the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout the building and grounds.
Detailed visitor guidelines are available on the Montshire website.
What’s New at the Montshire
This summer, the Montshire is offering even more outdoor experiences through a special exhibition, a forest-inspired play area, selections from Bubbles: Science in Soap exhibition in an outdoor setting, and learning experiences designed for families.
Step back in time when you visit Prehistoric Giants, featuring larger-than-life sculptures by New Hampshire-based artist Bob Shannahan. This outdoor exhibition explores life from the prehistoric past through pieces created from various natural materials. While strolling through the Montshire’s David Goudy Science Park, be on the lookout for a towering Irish elk, an American camel (ancestor of modern camels and llamas), a powerful short-faced bear, and a mighty mastodon.
Shannahan has been making and exhibiting his animal sculptures in New England for the past fifteen years. They are an extension of his landscape work and his work with school gardens. Though primarily self-taught, he has studied at the New Hampshire Art Institute and the Boston Institute of Art.
The Play Grove
The Play Grove is a whimsical nature play area nestled at the intersection of the Meadow Walk and River Loop Trails. Through colorful ribbons, fanciful structures, and a variety of activities rooted in informal science learning, visitors can explore, imagine, and play in a scenic woodland setting. Test grace and agility through a path of wood beams, colorful tree trunks, and logs. Use colorful stacking wood to create a structure, a game, or whatever the imagination conjures. Build a gnome home using a mix of natural objects found in the forest. Or take a quiet break on colorful hammocks as you sway along with the riverside breeze.
Bubbles at the Hughes Pavilion
Learn the joy, wonder, and science that can be found through just soap and water at one of the Montshire’s popular exhibitions, Bubbles: Science in Soap — now located outdoors in the Hughes Pavilion.
Education Programming for Families
The Museum will offer a variety of science programs and activities. Visitor groups can engage in hands-on, inquiry-based science activities, designed especially for families. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to use informal learning activities included in the visitor guide to further explore and investigate the Montshire’s exhibits and grounds.