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Montshire Unleashed

These construction blocks include familiar rectangular blocks, as well as blocks with holes and chutes, blocks that are rods and balls, and blocks in many other shapes. The open-ended nature of building with Big Blue Blocks can set the creative juices flowing, as you build your own inventions, environments, and activities.

The parts are easy for young children to stack and move around, but just as interesting for older children and adults to use to create complex structures and shapes.

More to Explore

Sit at one of our tables and take part in some scientific investigations. Located outside at the Hughes Pavilion, the various activities and investigations at the Science Discovery Lab are led by Museum staff and volunteer Explainers.

Each investigation is between 15 and 30 minutes long, and provides children and families opportunities to explore science while having fun and working directly with Museum staff and volunteers.

More to Explore

Organized in partnership with the Hopkins Center for the Arts, join us for an immersive forest experience that interweaves a terrestrial ecology tour with nature-inspired movement explorations.

This event is part of Big Move

Big Move is a new series at the Hop that pairs inventive dance artists with wide-ranging areas of research at Dartmouth. The series is part of the Hop’s ongoing initiative to integrate the arts across Dartmouth’s academic programs, leveraging artists and their work as springboards for interdisciplinary learning.

Organized in partnership with the Hopkins Center for the Arts, join us for an immersive forest experience that interweaves a terrestrial ecology tour with nature-inspired movement explorations.

This event is part of Big Move

Big Move is a new series at the Hop that pairs inventive dance artists with wide-ranging areas of research at Dartmouth. The series is part of the Hop’s ongoing initiative to integrate the arts across Dartmouth’s academic programs, leveraging artists and their work as springboards for interdisciplinary learning.

Join other homeschool students in this 4-part series as we explore air including its physical properties, how objects move through it and how moving air can be a force to make things move in interesting ways.

  • Thursdays, October 7-28 (4 weeks) at the Montshire
  • Ages 6-8 10:30am-noon
  • Ages 9-12 1-2:30pm
  • Fees: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limited to 12 participants/session

Each week we will experiment with a different type of force or motion. Then using what we discover to create a fun toy or game for further play.

  • Mondays, November 1-22 (4 weeks)
  • 10-10:30am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $70, non-members $85
  • Limited to 7 pairs/session

Join other homeschool students in this 4-part series as we explore air including its physical properties, how objects move through it and how moving air can be a force to make things move in interesting ways.

  • Thursdays, October 7-28 (4 weeks) at the Montshire
  • Ages 6-8 10:30am-noon
  • Ages 9-12 1-2:30pm
  • Fees: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limited to 12 participants/session

Come ready to explore inside and out. We’ll use Montshire’s teaching collections, 110-acres, and our creativity to engineer mechanisms and structures inspired by nature. Our lessons will focus on ideas about plant and animal adaptations, and natural phenomena, and we will use them to guide our building.

  • Thursdays, September 9-30 (4 weeks) at the Montshire
  • Ages 6-8 10:30am-noon
  • Ages 9-12 1-2:30pm
  • Fees: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limited to 12 participants/session

Come ready to explore inside and out. We’ll use Montshire’s teaching collections, 110-acres, and our creativity to engineer mechanisms and structures inspired by nature. Our lessons will focus on ideas about plant and animal adaptations, and natural phenomena, and we will use them to guide our building.

  • Thursdays, September 9-30 (4 weeks) at the Montshire
  • Ages 6-8 10:30am-noon
  • Ages 9-12 1-2:30pm
  • Fees: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limited to 12 participants

We’ll be designing and testing cars all month long. From building our own toy cars to testing hot wheels under scientific conditions, we’ll bring out the car mechanic and engineer in every kid!

  • Mondays, October 4-25 (4 weeks)
  • 10-10:30am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $70, non-members $85
  • Limited to 7 pairs/session

We’ll be exploring forces and motions as we test out a variety of balls and other objects that roll. Each week will feature an engineering and building challenge just right for small hands.

<ul>

<li><span>Preschool program for ages 4-6</span></li>
<li><span>10-11:30am</span></li>
<li><span>Wednesdays at the Montshire</span></li>
<li><span>December 1-15 (3 classes)</span></li>
<li><span>Fee: Members $75, non-members $90</span></li>
<li><span>Limit: 12 participants</span></li>
</ul>

Each week we will experiment and use the force of magnets as we examine their attracting and repelling properties. We will discover what is magnetic, try fun magnet tricks and play games with all sorts of magnets.

  • Preschool program for ages 4-6
  • 10-11:30am
  • Wednesdays at the Montshire
  • November 3-17 (3 classes)
  • Fee: Members $75, non-members $90
  • Limit: 12 participants

We’ll be predicting, experimenting and making observations as we create our own unique mixtures each week. It’s bound to be a very gleeful and very messy science time.

  • Preschool program for ages 4-6
  • 10-11:30am
  • Wednesdays at the Montshire
  • October 6-27 (4 classes)
  • Fee: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limit: 12 participants

Calling all bug enthusiasts! Each week we will meet a new insect as we learn about body parts, adaptations, and life cycles. Activities both inside and out as we discover this fascinating group of animals.

  • Preschool program for ages 4-6
  • 10-11:30am
  • Wednesdays at the Montshire
  • September 8-29 (4 classes)
  • Fee: Members $100, non-members $120
  • Limit: 12 participants

Schedule a rustic family reunion picnic, or a fun evening of play exclusively for your company’s families. Enjoy unique river views, hiking trails, and access to all exhibits, including Summer of Dinosaurs.

Rentals are available July 6 to September 30, 2021. Each rental is two hours, starting at 6pm and ending at 8pm. Maximum number of guests is 75.

​Pricing
Indoor ($1000) • Access to all galleries
• Access to coat room and indoor restrooms
• Access to Museum PA system for music playback
• Store open for shopping upon request
Outdoor ($1000) • Access to all outdoor exhibits (including water play)
• Access to Play Grove and trails (some exclusions may apply)
• Food and drink allowed (see below for more details)
• Picnic tables, tables on terrace
• Access to outdoor restrooms
• Pavilion with activities
Indoor and Outdoor ($1800) Access to all of the above

Museum Rental Details

Learn more about the ins and outs of renting the Montshire!

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Staffing

Montshire will provide staffing for the event, including:

  • preparing spaces prior to start of rental
  • greeting and checking in guests (if needed)
  • maintaining the facility during the event, including hand washing and sanitizing stations
  • monitoring galleries and outside spaces to ensure health and safety protocols are followed by guests and staff

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Food and Drink

Food and drink are only allowed outdoors.

For health and safety purposes, food must be served in individual packages (e.g. box suppers; pre-made, individually wrapped sandwiches).

No buffets, potluck, birthday cakes, cafeteria-style, self-service, or shared foods.

There are no kitchen facilities, but there is access to water in the outdoor restrooms and electrical outlets on the Terrace and in the Pavilion.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Vendors

Renters may contract separately with Vermont licensed caterers, bartenders and/or food trucks.

All vendor activity is limited to the 2-hour rental timeframe and vendors are only allowed to provide food and drink.

Food cannot be sold on the premises unless it is from a food truck.

Upcharge may apply for additional staff time needed to coordinate with Renter’s vendor.

Vendors must comply with the Montshire’s health and safety protocols.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Weather

Outdoor exhibits and facilities are closed during electrical storms.

An alternate event date can be selected at booking, or, with appropriate notice, an outdoor reservation can be changed to indoor (all indoor policies apply).

Renter and MMS staff will consult 12-24 hours in advance of the event to make the decision to reschedule or cancel (cancellation policies apply) the event.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Health and Safety Protocols

All attendees must wear masks and social distance as much as possible while inside the building. When outside, masks are required when speaking to Montshire staff.

The full list of the Montshire Museum of Science’s current health and safety policies are available on the Montshire’s Visit page. As all guests will need to comply with these guidelines, Renter should review these policies before booking, as well as in advance of their event date as policies may have changed. Any guest demonstrating disregard for the health and safety protocols will be asked to leave.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Other

Due to the limited timeframe of the rental, all museum spaces are to be used “as-is”. Only small personal items, such as blankets, portable camp chairs, a small sound system are allowed outdoors; indoors, an iPhone can be hooked up to the museum’s PA to play music. The community room is not included as part of any rental.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Rental Fees and Deposit

All rentals must be reserved a minimum of two weeks prior to the event date.

A signed agreement with one-half of the rental fee is required to hold a date.

The balance of the rental fee and a $300 security deposit is due two weeks prior to your event.

Security deposit refunds will be issued within 30 days following the event, assuming there is no damage or unusual custodial requirements—including additional staff time—as a result of the event.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Insurance/Liability

The Montshire does not provide insurance coverage or assume responsibility for the actions of any individual or entity renting the facilities. Liability and/or property damage arising from the group’s actions is the responsibility of the group or person that has reserved the space.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Cancellations

If Renter cancels their event more than 3 weeks prior to the event date, a full refund of deposit will be made to Renter. If Renter cancels 2 weeks before the event, 50% of deposit is forfeited. Cancellations made by the Renter less than two weeks prior to the event are nonrefundable. The Montshire reserves the right to cancel an event and retain the deposit if Renter and guests are unable to comply with health, safety and other Montshire policies.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Fine Print

Reflecting the Montshire’s role in the community and mission, Museum trustees have restricted certain functions held at the Montshire. Events relating to political campaigns, political agendas, or sponsored by political parties are not allowed. Museum administration may choose not to accept requests or cancel events that they consider potentially adverse to the Museum’s operations. Charging admission or selling tickets to an event held at the Montshire is not permitted. Fundraising of any kind is not permitted, nor is selling merchandise.

Join us for a screening of Jurassic Park at the Fairlee Drive-in in Fairlee, Vermont. Enjoy a classic dinosaur movie with your family and friends, all under the summer night sky.

Gates open at 7:30pm and show-time is 8:30pm.

The Dino Drive-In is the second event in the Triassic Trilogy, a series of fundraisers to support the Montshire Museum of Science. Please join us for a thrilling evening!

Working with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont will study the social impact it has on the community and assist in refining a social impact tool for the museum field.

Thanks to a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, in partnership with Thanksgiving Point, had the opportunity to select museums across the country for the Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) project. After a competitive application and review process, the Montshire was one of 38 museums selected for the study.

Social impact is the effect of an activity on the social fabric of a community and the well-being of those who live there. This study will measure social impact through strengthened relationships, health and well-being, continued education and engagement, and intercultural competency.

Working with the MOMSI team in Utah, the Museum will recruit and survey visitors from the local community. The data collected will inform the Montshire on its social impact and will provide validated data about the museum field generally.

“We are deeply honored to be selected to participate in this national study,” says Jennifer Rickards, the Montshire’s Acting Executive Director. “Although we’re confident in the value that the Montshire offers the community, this study of social impact will help us define, measure, and articulate that value more clearly and provide insights that will allow us to enhance the programs and experiences we offer.

Each day this week, Montshire Educators will lead activities, from making your own model fossil to creating dinosaur art, from exploring the hands-on fossil collection to enjoying guided tours of the Amazing Allosauruses.

Time Activity Description
10:30am Meet the Allosaurus Get to know our adult and juvenile Allosauruses through a short talk that examines their skeletons. You'll even have the chance to hold a six inch Allosaurus claw!
11:00am Hatch a Dino Make your own hatching dinosaur egg from paper and compare it to the 100+ dinosaur eggs on exhibit at the Montshire this summer.
12:00pm Track a Dino Explore a model dinosaur trackway and identify the huge tracks of the Allosaurus, as well as other Jurassic dinosaurs, like the Stegosaurus!
1:00pm Fossil Creation Use clay and plaster to make your own model fossil to take home.
2:00pm Dino Timeline Create a pocket timeline of the last 250 million years from the earliest dinosaurs to the evolution of humans.
3:00pm Triceratops Hats Get in the party mood as we make our own colorful hats with three horns and a frill.
4:00pm Fossils Up-Close Hold fossils as you explore the Montshire’s fossil collection up close, from trilobites to Triceratops toes, T-Rex teeth to shark teeth.

Join us for science activities outdoors at the Science Discovery Lab or Push Cart Science. Engage in intensive hands-on activities for the entire family.

From making toy parachutes to experimenting with electricity, you’ll find that there’s lots to explore! Check the Museum information kiosk for the day’s schedule of activities.

​Enjoy a family friendly tour of the Montshire’s summer guest - the largest predator of the Jurassic the mighty Allosaurus!

​Get up close and personal with fossils from the Montshire’s collection.

Visitor Guidelines

Please review our visitor guidelines to help ensure a safe and healthy visit.

  • A ratio of 1:4 adult to children is required. Chaperone names are needed when you submit your reservation request.
  • A minimum of 10 people is required for the group rate; maximum is currently 25.
  • We can accept two groups per day with staggered arrival times: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  • Groups will break into smaller subgroups (1 adult and 4 youth) to navigate the exhibits in order to better maintain safe distance between other Museum visitors.
  • Eating and drinking is permitted outdoors only. No eating and drinking is allowed inside the building.
  • Masks are required for all visitors, ages 3 and up.
  • Payment will be submitted upon arrival by check, cash, or credit card. Some organizations (e.g. schools) may qualify to be invoiced.
  • Reservation requests must be received via online form at least one week prior to anticipated visit date.


​Pricing

May 1—June 11 $8 for all visitors in group, if visiting on a school day; $14 per adult, $11 per child, if visiting on a non-school day
June 12—Sept 7 $15.50 per adult, $12.50 per child

Note: The Montshire does not offer free admission to members when they visit as part of a group.

Ready to visit? Submit your group reservation request. Your request will be processed and confirmed via email.


Preparing for Your Visit

  • Once your reservation is confirmed, we will send you a confirmation email along with links to the Group Leader Checklist and Chaperone Information Sheet. These will help you plan and organize your visit, including breaking up the group into smaller subgroups and creating a path for each group through all the exhibits (click here to see an example).
  • Please review the Montshire’s visitor guidelines regarding health and safety protocols here, and see a map of the Museum in our Visitor Guide here.

What to Expect at Your Visit

  • A Montshire Explainer will greet your group upon arrival in front of the Museum building.
  • The group leader will check in at the Admission Desk and pay for everyone in the group. Each visitor will receive a sticker to place on or near their name tag to help Montshire staff identify each person as part of the group.
  • Once the group is checked in, each smaller subgroup will begin their visit, stopping at the coat room or restroom en route to their designated starting place in the Museum.
  • We expect adult supervision and engagement with the group throughout the visit.
  • Visiting the Museum Store? We recommend staggering visits to the store throughout the day to ensure everyone has time to shop; Montshire staff are happy to keep purchases at the front desk to be picked up before the group departs.
  • As a bonus, each young person visiting receives a pass to return to the Montshire for free with a paying adult.

Observe the Montshire’s fossil collection through a virtual guided tour with a Montshire educator. Together, examine fossils of plants, sea creatures, and dinosaurs, as we look for clues related to the history of life.

Imagine, design and create a miniature world all your own! Put the design-engineering process into practice using recycled materials like cardboard and boxboard to build a model world where you can live, learn and play. Throughout this open-ended workshop, we will plan, prototype, iterate and share our ideas around our virtual makers table.

  • Mondays, November 29-December 13 (3 weeks)
  • 1-2:15pm
  • Ages 9-12
  • Fees: Members $90, non-members $105
  • Limit: 7 participants/session

Use the design-engineering process, and some advanced cardboard construction techniques, to investigate the sustainability of our lives, homes and communities. Work together to consider how we might design a greener, cleaner, and more liveable future for our local and global community.

  • Tuesdays, May 4-18 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 10-11:15am
  • Session 2: 1-2:15pm
  • Ages 9-12
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

If you’ve ever released a blown up balloon you’ve experienced pressurized air doing work - albeit a bit chaotic. Build with the surprising strength of squashed air (pneumatics) and forced liquids (hydraulics).

  • Thursdays, May 6-20 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 10-11:15am
  • Session 2: 1-2:15pm
  • Ages 6-8
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

If you’ve ever released a blown up balloon you’ve experienced pressurized air doing work - albeit a bit chaotic. Build with the surprising strength of squashed air (pneumatics) and forced liquids (hydraulics).

  • Thursdays, May 6-20 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 10-11:15am
  • Session 2: 1-2:15pm
  • Ages 6-8
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 7 participants/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

In this program for 4-5 year olds and their adult caregiver, we will combine science and math in fun and engaging ways as we explore patterns, geometry and number relationships. We will measure, compare, sort and puzzle all while encouraging math and science process skills in our experiments and activities.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, May 3-19 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 7 families/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

In this program for 4-5 year olds and their adult caregiver, we will combine science and math in fun and engaging ways as we explore patterns, geometry and number relationships. We will measure, compare, sort and puzzle all while encouraging math and science process skills in our experiments and activities.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, May 3-19 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 7 families/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

In this program for 4-5 year olds and their adult caregiver, we will combine science and math in fun and engaging ways as we explore patterns, geometry and number relationships. We will measure, compare, sort and puzzle all while encouraging math and science process skills in our experiments and activities.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, May 3-19 (3 weeks)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 7 families/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

This fresh take on the Montshire’s annual benefit event relocates from the museum galleries to the Zoom room. This virtual evening event includes a gift box of culinary treats, a booklet of activities, and a conversation with dinosaur expert Dustin Growick, whose unique blend of knowledge and humor will guarantee an evening to remember.

The collective actions of people are now altering planetary systems in profound and undesirable ways. Crossing tipping points will lead to truly existential challenges for many species, including us. By incorporating ecological principles into our decision-making, we can reverse this trend and help to maintain the planetary balances we rely on. Join Lionel Chute for a talk about the world’s natural systems and the need for ecological thinking to inform human behavior.

Lionel Chute is the Director of Natural Resources for Sullivan County and the District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District. He also currently serves as a Commissioner for both the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission and the Connecticut River Joint Commissions.


Programs begin at 1pm via Zoom with a short business meeting prior to the talk.

This program is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required.