Get Excited for Summer Camp

24 04 2013

The school year is almost over and that means it’s time for SUMMER CAMP. Have you made your plans yet?

We are gearing up for an awesome summer filled with new discoveries, fun activities and memorable field trips. This is the last year we’ll be hosting camp at our Museum downtown, so you don’t want to miss it.

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ACM offers half day camps for ages 4-6 and full day camps for ages 7-10 from May 28 – August 16. Full day camps include field trips all around the Austin area.  Camp topics range from science, engineering, art and more. Most of our half day camps are already filled, but there are plenty of spots left in full day camps.

This year, we are excited for our full day camp, “Get a Clue.” Together, we’ll investigate and gather evidence to discover the hidden mysteries around town. Field trips include an investigation at the Driskill Hotel where we’ll reveal the haunted history that lies behind the spooky walls, and a behind-the-scenes visit to the Austin Police Department where we’ll meet real investigators.

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Inside the Museum we’ll extract DNA, experiment with blood typing, solve riddles, decipher codes and navigate through a laser alarm system. At the end of the week, we’ll use our problem solving skills to solve an art heist.

Check out all of our camp topics and register online at


Meet the Makers at ACM

12 04 2013

The time has finally come! On Sunday, May 5, Austin Children’s Museum will be participating in the 2013 Austin Mini Maker Faire. The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center from 10am -6pm.

What is Mini Maker Faire? It’s a community-oriented learning event where families and individuals are brought together to showcase any and all Do-It-Yourself projects. Maker Faire is arranged in a show-and-tell format, allowing makers to connect by showing what they’ve made and sharing what they’ve learned.

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Every Sunday at ACM, we welcome this year’s Makers to show off their stuff and answer any questions. A special guest leads the activity as Makers do different DIY activities to prepare for the upcoming event.

Last week at Meet the Makers, we had fun making our own soap from scratch!

On Sunday, April 14, join the Makers from Austin Mini Maker Faire Craft division and design a beautiful denim crown to wear home. Burnadette Noll will be attending as our special guest and she will have everything you need to stitch and create a unique upcycled crown. Show the world that you are the King or Queen of your very own universe and come meet the Makers to get excited for Mini Maker Faire on May 5!

Cardboard Creations: Caine’s Arcade

10 04 2012

Here at the Austin Children’s Museum, we strive to equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. Every now and again, we come across something that inspires us and reminds us how impactful hands-on creative exploration can be. Today, we discovered this video, about a 9 year-old boy in East Los Angeles who made an arcade out of cardboard.

Lean more about Caine at his website,, where supporters can also contribute to his scholarship fund.

We are so inspired by Caine’s creations that we’re already planning to host some cardboard arcade making activities at the Museum.

Can you build a game out of recycled materials? What design solutions can you come up with (we love Caine’s hook-and-yarn claw machine!)?

2011 Texas Book Festival

20 10 2011

Now that’s it’s getting colder, we can think of nothing finer than snuggling up with a blanket and reading our favorite books. And with that in mind…

The 2011 Texas Book Festival is here! Bringing authors and readers together for literacy, ideas, and imagination, this is a free public even that happens every year at the State Capitol here in Austin. This is the 15th annual Texas Book Festival and it will be taking place Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23.

To kick-off this exciting festival, here at ACM we’ll be hosting an event Friday October 21st from 3:30-5:30 where you can meet Doreen Cronin author of  M.O.M. and Eileen Christelow author of Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed.

Happy reading!

Costume Contest!

19 10 2011

Calling all dinosaurs in training! Are you the fiercest t. rex? How ’bout the most colorful triceratops? Then come into ACM and let us hear you roar!

This month, the Museum is hosting a Dino Costume Contest. If you think you’re the best-looking dino in town, then come in with your homemade costumes and you may win a membership here at The Austin Children’s Museum. In order to win as the most creative creature, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Make your dino-suit at home (must be homemade)
  • Wear it on your visit to the Museum
  • Take a photo wearing your costume with your fiercest dino-face in the Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice exhibit
  • Upload your photo to the ACM Facebook Album
  • Invite your friends and family to “like” your photo
  • The winner of the most popular photo will receive an ACM membership
  • Second and third place prizes will also be awarded

We’ve included instructions to make your very own costume, watch the slideshow below and follow the link to the costume instructions.

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Have fun creating!

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13 10 2011

with my little eye… A FUN CRAFT!

Have you ever been bored on a road trip? Then you’ve probably played the I-Spy game. I-Spy is a guessing game, sometimes played in cars, where the fun is in the observation. There are many variations of the game, and right now at ACM, our newest favorite is the I-Spy Bottle. This fun craft is extremely easy to make and the possibilities of I-Spy combinations are endless!

Here’s the first one we made using random objects, an old water bottle, and plain white rice:

Some tips for making the bottle:

  • Gather items that you know will fit through the opening of the bottle
  • Use a funnel or make a paper one, so the filler (the rice) doesn’t spill
  • Try to add the filler and the objects in increments so the objects don’t all lump together
  • You can hot glue gun the top of the bottle if you want to avoid the contents spilling out in the excitement of I-Spying

You can make all sorts of themes with your I-Spy Bottles, use shells for an ocean theme, or creepy objects for a Halloween one. You can even vary the types of fillers you use: rice, pasta, beans, birdseed, lentils, beads, sand… it all works.

If you want to add another fun step in your I-Spy Bottle creation, try dyeing the filler you use, Momtastic has a great tutorial for coloring rice (it works on beans, pasta, and lentils too!) maybe you could make a rainbow themed bottle?

We even made a Dino-Spy Bottle in honor of our exhibit Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice! Check it out:

We used assorted beans to represent soil. It looks like the tiny triceratops is being excavated from the rocky remains!

Tell us how your bottles turned out, what theme did you choose?


10 10 2011

Dinosaur Diets...

Some dinosaurs were carnivores (meat-eaters) but most were herbivores (plant-eaters).

About 65% of the dinosaurs were plant eaters and 35% percent were meat-eaters. We know this because there are way more fossils found of herbivores than carnivores. For example, over a hundred Protoceratops fossils have been discovered, but only about a dozen T. Rex fossils have been found.

Within the dinosaur food chain it may have taken hundreds of acres of plants to feed a small group of Triceratops, but these Triceratops could supply a single T. rex with enough food to survive over its lifetime!

If you want to make your own herbivorous Triceratops and carnivorous T-Rex at home, you can demonstrate the dino-diet yourself, just download these neat activities: Dino-Bite Triceratops and Dino-Bite Tyrannosaurus Rex (all you need is a clothespin, glue, and something to color with!) Check out how ours turned out:

Share your clothespin creatures with us and let us know how your Dino’s Bite!