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Shell Museum to offer children’s program for resort-goers

By Staff | Jul 23, 2009

Ahh, the great American family vacation.

Sunscreen, beaches, lots of noise and a bit of controlled chaos. The summer months are for family fun.

And, while summer vacations are mostly for the kids, it doesn’t have to be all Walt Disney World and water park experiences.

Take advantage of the Bailey-Matthews Museum’s new resort program called “Children Play Parents May?”

The program allows parents to spend up to two hours alone together while their children learn about mollusks in a fun environment, said Kathleen Hoover, the shell museum’s public relations manager.

“As an adult it’s really nice to have some quiet time,” Hoover said.

But finding a resort that has activity programs for children is not an easy


Hoover said the program helps to alleviate guilt of leaving your child while you relax because kids are not just sitting in front of a TV by themselves and bored.

“It’s not a baby-sitting service,” she said. “They will be busy while they’re here.”

During the program, children – ages five to 12 – will play educational games, create shell crafts, do creative writing and read about mollusks.

Diane Orvis Thomas, the museum’s public programs specialist, runs the program. She explained that all games and activities – such as shell identification – will be

geared toward different ages.

Dru Anne Doyle, a manager at Ocean’s Reach Condominiums Resort, said she plans on kicking off the program at the resort on Saturday, Aug. 1.

“I think there’s a benefit,” said Doyle, who added that she likes the idea of an activity designed to teach children about the island’s natural resources. “It gives them a chance to do a lot of hands-on learning.”

The cost is $15 per child. Classes will be held at the museum from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday in July, August and September. Call a day ahead to make reservations.

To register, call Diane Orvis Thomas at 395-2233 ext. 11 or e-mail her at dothomas@shellmuseum.org. Register by 3 p.m. on Monday for Tuesday sessions and by 3 p.m. on Wednesday for Thursday sessions.