Activities & Resources
Fernbank NatureQuest: Sneak Peek Review050in Atlanta, GA 30307
about Fernbank NatureQuest: Sneak Peek Review:
We had the privilege of going on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum's expansive (7,000 square feet!) new permanent children's exhibit and its Wow factor is as high as its giant trees.
The exhibition features more than 100 interactive (meaning hands-on) experiences for guests to explore and engage with the ecosystems of Georgia, ranging from oceans and estuary, swamp, pine flatwoods, forest, waterfall, and river, and caves. Live animals (baby alligators, turtles, a snake) are displayed in where they would be found in the great outdoors.
Give your family at least an hour to experience all the exhibit has to offer. We could have easily spent two! While some like to wander to whatever looks interesting at the moment, Fernbank staff know many like a plan. Inside the clubhouse, exploration cards offer tips on how to approach the ecosystems, where to look, and how to investigate each habitat. "Ologist" cards provide directed methods of exploring the exhibition as junior archaeologists, geologists, zoologists, and other scientists.
Our junior reporters highlight a few of their favorite elements:
-The virtual river: Using sensor technology similar to light-up dance floors, guests can "splash" make ripples and make friends with the fish by stepping - or jumping- into a virtual river that runs through the middle of the exhibition space.
- The waterfall: A fall of mist creates a magical entryway to the world of the salamanders. The kids will want to go through it again and again!
- The archaeology dig: Children can get hands on learning about dig tools and complete magnetic puzzles of ancient artifacts to piece together.
- The rope bridge: Climbing up a giant tree via rope ladder and stepping onto the rope bridge gives a birdeye view of the entire area.
- Magic mirror: Select objects placed in front of a magical mirror screen show the life cycle of an acorn growing into a tree, a tadpole becoming a frog, and more.
- Night vision binoculars: Look through them to see animals that only come out at night!
Every section of the exhibit offered special surprises, and we think each visit can be completely unique. NatureQuest is designed primarily for children ages 4-9, but we think younger kids can find a lot to enjoy as well. Elements are durable - educators and designers worked for four years to create an environment that would stand the test of time - and make superb use of technology to make learning exciting.
Know before you go: The exhibit is handicap accessible, with the exception of the upper levels of the clubhouse, but similar activities stationed there are available on the ground. An education facilitator is stationed at the entrance to manage visitor flow, and answer questions. Dedicated stroller parking is available directly adjacent to the exhibit entrance.
Field trips are welcome in the exhibit, on a space available basis. Birthday party guests can visit the exhibit, just like the rest of the museum, during the scheduled event.