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The summer family trip is a ubiquitous part of our national culture, as immortalized by films ranging from the campy 1983 classic National Lampoon’s Vacation to Jordan Peele’s decidedly un-campy 2019 hit Us.

Maybe you fought siblings or cousins for a seat in the “way back” of the station wagon headed to grandma’s house. Or boarded a bus bound for the nearby beach. Perhaps – if you were very lucky – you hopped on a plane for a week or two on a mountain with double-digit temperatures, briefly escaping the “lizard baking in the sun” feeling of summers in South Texas.

Whatever your mode of transportation, you will find the chance to learn about and engage with it during The DoSeum’s special summer exhibit, Going Places. Developed by exhibition experts at Scitech, a world-renowned education science institution in Perth, Australia, Going Places will explore the major modes of transportation – including land, air, and water – through 17 interactive exhibits geared specifically to an elementary-age audience.

Children from across San Antonio (and beyond!) will dive, race, and soar deep into the ways we move from place to place. “Flight Simulator” will allow children to pilot a fictitious plane through the skies. At the “Recumbent Racer,” they’ll pair up with a friend to find out whether recumbent or racer bikes travel faster up and down hills and learn how professional cyclists reduce their aerodynamic profiles to get the fastest times. Across the room, the “Big Engine” will roar to life, demonstrating key principles like combustion and enthralling both 8-year-olds and 8-year-olds at heart. An exhibit partnership with VIA will also allow families to explore their options for going places across our community.

As with past summer special exhibits, DoSeum educators have developed an educational challenge designed to accompany the exhibit and help keep young minds sharp during the long school hiatus.

The Going Places Adventure Passport is full of fun, math-focused activities; pick up a copy at The DoSeum or download the Passport from thedoseum.org. For every challenge a child completes, they will be eligible for a chance to win transportation prizes like a Go Rio boat tour or Double Decker bus trip (activities ripe for the “staycation” agenda). Children who complete all challenges will receive a personalized laser-cut medal created for them by DoSeum staff.

We anticipate over 150,000 guests walking (and skipping and running) through our doors during Going Places’ three-month run  through Sept. 9. This includes 15,000-plus family members who will visit for free or at reduced rates through our accessibility initiatives. During the summer months of June, July, and August we increase our Free Family Nights to twice a month, opening our doors wide at no charge.

We will also continue to welcome our community’s families under the Museums for All umbrella. Last November, The DoSeum became the first museum in the San Antonio metro area to become a designated Museums for All institution. Through this new accessibility effort, we offer a $3-per-person admission fee during regular operating hours with possession of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and valid form of photo ID.

Additionally, this summer we will offer $9 admission to all visitors after 4 p.m. (valid seven days a week through Aug. 25).

We are grateful to the following community partners for their support of Going Places and accompanying programming: the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Trust, Union Pacific Railroad, The USAA Foundation, and VIA Metropolitan Transit.

Our summer hours, in effect from through Aug. 25, are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Come experience how The DoSeum is “going places” this summer!

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Katie Sirakos

Katie Sirakos is the founder and owner of Spark Storytelling, a grant writing and strategy consultancy serving nonprofits in the San Antonio area. She may be reached at katie@sparkthestory.com.