It’s Spring Break at the Museum!

Written by Meghan Gattignolo, Visitor Services Coordinator

If you are anything like me, you have a couple of kids who have spent an unprecedented amount of time at home this past year. While the opportunity to spend so much time together as a family is sweet, the enthusiasm required to keep kids curious is exhausting. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly led to many challenges here at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, as well. The Education Department – Curator of Education Sue Lewis and Education Associate Pat Purnell – loved hosting hands-on programs prior to the pandemic. Like everyone else, the Museum has had to shift perspective and focus on digital content. However, with some new standards firmly in place, we are again ready for live programming! 

Inspired by our anticipation for warm spring weather and our current exhibit Lisa Jennings: Coming Home, the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is excited to host It’s All About Nature: Spring Break at the Museum, a suite of live, in-person and COVID-19-friendly programs. Stop by the Museum on Wednesday, March 10 to join Curator Sue Lewis in the Turner Auditorium as she reads a spring story. Pictures will be displayed on our projector to better enable social distancing.

Papier-mâché birds sitting on a branch. Large decorative circular pieces are hanging on the wall in the background.

Lisa Jennings exhibit Coming Home

Porcelain mother and baby bird sitting in a nest Boehm sculpture. The sculpture is entitled 'Prothonotary Warbler' issued 1958.

Lucy Dunwody Boehm Porcelain Collection

Thursday is Owl Pellet Day! Education Associate Pat Purnell will facilitate the exploration of an owl pellet. Everyone ages 6 and up is encouraged to enjoy this program and learn more about what an owl pellet is and how we can use it to learn more about owls. Attendees can even take their owl pellet home following the program. To facilitate social distancing standards, space is limited for this program and is on a first-come basis, though several time slots are available. Registration is required upon arriving at the Museum, so be sure to check in with Visitor Services in the Lobby. Attendees ages 6-14 will also require an adult to join them.

On Friday, March 12, we welcome Park Ranger Regina Lowry of Paris Landing State Park into our auditorium! Park Ranger Lowery will be accompanied by two birds of prey and you will have the opportunity to learn all about these magnificent animals. This program will be fun for the whole family. Donations to go toward feeding the birds are encouraged.

Mother and daughter in the Becoming Clarksville exhibit pointing to an artifact while reading a Museum Discovery Quest.

Mother and daughter discover Museum exhibits
with a Museum Discovery Quest

A new Museum Discovery Quest will also be available beginning the week of Spring Break. Nature Trails & Tales is a self-guided exhibit “scavenger hunt” that unearths images and artifacts from nature. An accompanying free Take It N’ Make It Packet includes most of the supplies you need to create a beautiful paper butterfly at home.  

All of our programs are included with general admission and free with membership. We want Spring Break at the Museum to be entertaining for members and visitors, but we will be enforcing our COVID-19 social distancing and mask policies with safety in mind. Masks are required for everyone ages 5 and up to attend programs and are available free of charge at Visitor Services in the Lobby. Multiple time slots are available for each program. Visit our calendar for specific times. If you have any questions at all prior to the days of the events, please call Visitor Services at (931) 648-5780. We hope you enjoy your Spring Break at the Museum!

Meghan Gattignolo

Meghan Gattignolo is the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center’s Visitor Services Coordinator and regularly contributes articles to the Museum’s blog. From a military family, Meghan has spent most of her life in Clarksville. She loves learning about Clarksville’s history and writing. Meghan holds a B.A. in History from Austin Peay State University, with minors in German and Political Science. She lives in Clarksville with her husband and two daughters. 

Maegan Collins, Media & Communications Coordinator, prepares photographs and visual images as well as prepares the blog posts for the web.

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