Igloo Build and the Science of Winter

Explore and enjoy the season with winter-related science and one of the museum's longest-running traditions—Igloo Build.

From tracking animals in the snow to experimenting with ice, it will be a day filled with hands-on winter activities, including one of the museum’s longest-running traditions— Igloo Build. Learn how to build an insulated, sturdy house strong enough to support the weight of a polar bear. 

Dubbed the #1 Way to Winter Fun by Yankee Magazine (Jan ’09) and a “Top 10 Winter Event” by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce (2014/2015), the Montshire’s Igloo Build is guaranteed fun for the whole family. Dr. Bert Yankielun, engineer and author of the book How to Build an Igloo and Other Snow Structures, will be on hand to offer a demonstration, as well as instruction on the structural secrets of building with snow—from making an initial snow angel to placing the final block on the dome and sawing your way out.

Schedule of Activities

  • Igloo Build \\ 10:30am–2pm \\ Hughes Pavilion in David Goudy Science Park:
    Learn about igloos while working together to build a sturdy house using nothing but water and hand saws.
  • Winter Animal Tracking \\ 10:30am–1pm \\ Classroom:
    Solve winter mysteries through tracking. Learn or hone your skills, create animal track books, and explore the museum’s collection of animal exhibits.
  • Winter Snowshoe \\ 2–5pm \\ David Goudy Science Park Patio:
    Explore the winter trails in snowshoes and even put your newfound tracking skills to the test.
  • Ice Experiments \\ Science Discovery Lab:
    • Fun with Frost \\ 11am: Mix salt and ice to recreate the cold temperature outside and bring the fun of frost indoors.
    • Investigating Ice \\ 12:30pm: Explore the wonders of ice by using a variety of tools (e.g., water, dye, flashlights) with ice of different shapes and sizes.
    • Winter Wheels \\ 2pm: Driving Hot Wheels on cold tracks, learn how various elements like ice, sand, and salt affect movement on the roads.
    • Ice Cold Challenge \\ 3:30pm: Using limited tools and problem solving skills, extract a prize from a block of ice.

MOCO cocoa for $1 will be available for purchase by the Hughes Pavilion near David Goudy Science Park. Soup, cookies, and coffee from Umpleby's will be available for purchase at the Science Park Patio.