Free Family Symphony Sunday features guest violinist Hannah Shipstad

Hannah Shipstad

Hannah Shipstad

Special guest violinist Hannah Shipstad, 11-year-old winner of the Youth Aliyah competition in Oak Ridge, will play as a soloist with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra during its free family concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

Hannah will join the orchestra in “Spring” from “Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi. A small symphony orchestra will also perform the musical story of “Peter and the Wolf,” by Sergei Prokofiev.

The Children’s Museum, at 461 West Outer Drive, is offering free admission from 1-5 p.m. Sunday to support the concert. Children are invited to come early for paper puppet making and instrument making beginning at 2 p.m. at the museum. [Read more…]

Free family concert Sunday features ‘Peter and the Wolf,’ ‘Spring’

Martha Damiano

The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra will present “Peter and the Wolf” and Vivaldi’s “Spring” in a free family concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 25, at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

Children are invited to come early for paper puppet making and instrument making beginning at 2 p.m. at the museum at 461 West Outer Drive. The museum is offering free admission from 1-5 p.m. Sunday to support the concert.

Puppets from the “Peter and the Wolf” story are in the Anna Cebrat Puppet Room at the museum, where children may act out the story in the puppet theater in the week leading up to the concert. [Read more…]

Children’s Museum Gala has Celtic theme

Good Thymes Band

Good Thymes Band


Guests will dance jigs and reels to fiddlers’ tunes as they enjoy “A Celtic Holiday” at the annual Gala hosted by the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The Gala, celebrating the culture and cuisine of Scotland and Ireland, will be held from 6-11 p.m. Friday, December 5, at the museum, which is at 461 West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge.

The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band, playing traditional Scottish music, will entertain after dinner with fiery Scottish tunes, as well as aires and waltzes. Guests will learn jigs and reels as the band plays with fiddles, guitar, penny whistle, bodhran, mandolin, and hammered dulcimer. The band formed in 2008 when several members of the Knoxville Scottish Music Club got together.

The Knoxville Pipe and Drums, wearing the ancient Mackenzie Tartan, will also entertain during the lively Celtic evening. The group has been together since the early 1990s, when three pipers began playing bagpipes together, adding a number of pipers and drummers over the years.

Becky Hook will perform Celtic music on the harp during dinner, a traditional Scottish feast prepared by Chef Mark Ferguson of The Scottish Cottage in Asheville, North Carolina. The Oak Ridge High School Chorus and an ORHS String Quartet will also entertain during the Gala. [Read more…]

Spooktacular Event Friday at Children’s Museum

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

To celebrate Halloween, the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will host a Not-So-Scary Spooktacular Event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, October 31. Young visitors are invited to create their own trick-or-treat bags before visiting the exhibits. Activities are free with admission.

Among events at the museum will be:

  • Trick or treat bag decorating, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Great Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Spider Swamp Maze, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Ghost Bubbles in the Garden, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Flashlight Rainforest Walk, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Spooky Story Time, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Crazy Costume Parade, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Mad Scientist Lab, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Glowing Tunnel, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

[Read more…]

Czech-Slovak folk dress on exhibit at Children’s Museum Nov. 5-9

Beaded Wedding Cap

Beaded Wedding Cap (Submitted photo)


“Beaded Glory,” an exhibit of Czech and Slovak folk dress and folk art portraying the artistry and skill of village people in adorning their clothing, will be on display at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge from November 5-9. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, November 6, in Imagination Gallery at the museum.

The exhibit will showcase beaded wedding headdresses, embroidered aprons and blouses, intricate dyed and appliqued leather in sheepskin vests, lace-trimmed ritual cloths, and a rare Bohemian wedding vest decorated with hundreds of carved fish scales. Dolls in folk dress will also be on display.

“A hundred years ago, your village dress told so much about you—whether you were young or old, married or single, a widow or a nursing mother, a young man going off to military service, or someone in mourning. The tremendous variety from village to village is amazing,” said Helene Baine Cincebeaux, of Rochester, New York, who is bringing the exhibit to the Children’s Museum. [Read more…]

Children’s Museum offers Fall Break classes

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will offer special arts camps next week during fall break for Oak Ridge Schools, from Monday through Friday, October 13-17. They are:

  • Eclectic Art. Children will experience a variety of artistic media, including painting, drawing, collage, introductory printmaking, and sculpting. The class, for fourth through seventh graders, will be from 9 a.m.-noon. The cost is $115 for members and $125 for non-members, with a $10 materials fee.
  • Creepy Clay. Children will hand build their own creations, as well as bones and eyeballs to create a bracelet or chimes, form a  pumpkin to decorate, and paint a haunted Halloween tile with glaze. The class, for ages 7-14, is from 1-4 p.m. The fee is $125 for members and $135 for non-members, and it includes materials and firing. The class limit is 12.

[Read more…]

Children’s Museum awarded $137,108 grant by museum institute

Healthy Living Exhibit


The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded $137,108 to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge this month.

The museum will use the grant funds to develop its new Kids in Action! Healthy Living Exhibit and programs. Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will plan, develop, and construct “Kids in Action,” a healthy living exhibit and accompanying educational programs to support healthy nutrition, healthy activity, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, and community wellness, a press release said. [Read more…]

Children’s Museum offers Day of Play

Kids Go Green! Environmental Center and Gardens

Photo courtesy Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge


The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will join in Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play with children’s activities throughout the afternoon Wednesday, September 24. Children may join in the following activities:

  • Scavenger Hunts in the Kids Go Green! Environmental Center & Garden, 3-3:30 p.m., for ages 6-10.
  • Pumpkin Relay, 3-3:15 p.m. for ages 3-5, and 4-4:15 p.m. for ages 5-8.
  • Parachute Game, 3:30-3:50 p.m. for ages 3-5, and 4:20-4:40 p.m. for ages 5-8.

While visiting exhibits, children may count the scarecrows and report back to the front desk how many they found. [Read more…]

Solar House opens July 10 at Children’s Museum

Living Light House Ribbon-cutting

Chelsea, left, and Craig Myles walk to the Solar House with Carroll Welch, Children’s Museum deputy director, center, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition at the Children’s Museum. (Submitted photos)

The Living Light Solar House, an ambassador for good design and energy efficiency while at the University of Tennessee, will open to the public on July 10 at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

The Children’s Museum will host an open house from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, inviting visitors to tour the solar-powered house and the museum. Admission will be free that evening, as the museum shows the community its newest exhibit, the house built by University of Tennessee students.

UT donated the solar house to the Children’s Museum, where it arrived May 17. The new exhibit invites children and families to experience sustainability in an energy-efficient house recognized for its architectural design.

“Young people who see the Living Light house talk about wanting a place of their own like that someday,” said Carroll Welch, Children’s Museum deputy director. “The house is very inspiring for children, and it will offer many great learning opportunities.” [Read more…]

Honors: Girl Scouts awarded grants

Joyce Maienschein and Miriam Ryburne

Ambassador Girl Scout Miriam Ryburne, pictured with Joyce Maienschein, has been awarded a Joyce Maienschein Leadership Grant of financial support for the service project she created to help needy children in the USA and in Indonesia. (Submitted photo)


The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians has announced recent recipients of Leadership Grants to provide financial support for community service projects. The grant winners, middle- and high-school-age Girl Scouts, have each created and are leading a different community project.

Miriam Ryburne, daughter of Oak Ridgers Nan Shugart and Mark Cantley, organized and taught a team of people to make hand-knitted items for an all-girls orphanage in Indonesia, as well as for six other organizations, including the Florence Crittenden Agency and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Allison Campbell, of Knoxville, is upgrading the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital doctors’ waiting room, designing and printing activity books for the children, and gathering immediate needs for patients.

Sierra Turner of Chattanooga is collecting CD players and CDs for cancer patients at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. [Read more…]

Spotlight: Banners showcase art of the late Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson

Peggy Heddleson


“Peggy Heddleson Banners: A Celebration of Poetry in Felt,” a special proclaiming event honoring the memory of the late Margaret “Peggy” Thompson Heddleson, will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 8, in the fellowship hall at Grace Lutheran Church at 131 W. Gettysburg Ave. in Oak Ridge.

Heddleson, who died in 2009, achieved acclaim as an artist in ceramics, painting, and basket weaving, but her banners, made of felt cloth with words, were her crowning artistic achievement.

Many of her banners were gifted to Grace Church, where she was a longtime member. On display in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall, they carry a message of faith and healing. Also on display for this event will be additional banners loaned by Peg’s daughter, Tina Armstrong. Many of the loaned banners deal with domestic violence and rape, topics with which Heddleson had some familiarity both from her own life and the stories many women shared with her as she traveled, giving “banner talks” advocating for battered women to church and civic groups. [Read more…]

Living Light solar-powered home moves to Children’s Museum

Living Light House Trailer

The University of Tennessee donated the Living Light House to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, and the 750-square-foot solar-powered home was moved Saturday.


The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has donated its Living Light House to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, and the 750-square-foot solar-powered home was moved Saturday.

The award-winning home makes more energy than it uses, said James Rose, senior lecturer in UT’s College of Architecture and Design.

Moving the 80,000-pound house was a daylong project. The Children’s Museum is in a residential area in Oak Ridge, so the museum had to move trees, excavate a slope, and create a temporary road to get to the site.

Rose said the one-room home, which has mechanical and laundry areas, will be used at the Children’s Museum for outreach and to showcase the latest energy-efficient technologies.

“This is the perfect place for this building,” said Rose, the architect of record on the project and the leader of the student architecture studio that designed it. [Read more…]