If you think seeing fresh powder or experiencing a snow day in sunny California is merely a fairytale and completely out of the question then think again, because the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is hosting its second annual “Snow Days” event Jan. 13-15 at the museum in Santa Rosa for all to enjoy.
The Snow Days will take place daily over the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day holiday weekend and will feature over 30 tons of fresh man-made snow for all to play in. Snow day festivities include getting a chance to build a snowman or igloo, partake in an epic snowball fight with targets, or spend some time in the museum’s “free-play” tent.
Jenny Juhl, director of development for the children’s museum said in addition to experiencing the snow, there will be many other creative and interactive activities for attendees to partake in.
“The snow is the main attraction, but we are also constructing an obstacle course by the snow line and a snow sensory bin,” Juhl said. Sensory bins are typically a fun play option for toddlers and preschoolers and include toys, shapes and colors.
According to the museum’s mission statement, the center aims to, “Inspire children’s creativity and stimulate their curiosity to discover the world through playful exploration of the arts and sciences.” And with keeping that goal in mind, the special event will also feature winter themed science experiment, face painting, art projects and even hot chocolate.
Juhl said since the event was such a big hit last year, the museum is doubling the amount of man-made snow to be delivered and is also making arrangements to accommodate a larger crowd of people.
“We had 6,000 people last year over the three-day weekend and expect around the same (amount). So we’ve made some adjustments this year and doubled the snow so we can accommodate more people,” Juhl said. The museum will also provide a shuttle for families to take to the museum if parking for the event becomes difficult with the high volume of guests.
Despite the snow being man-made, which is typically made by snow making machines on the slopes of ski resorts, which spray super chilled water and microscopic particles in the air where the water will freeze mid-air, Juhl says that young museum goers enjoy it just the same.
“A lot of the families around here have never seen snow before and this is a much cheaper option instead of having to drive up to Truckee,” Juhl explained of this unique experience offered to children and families.
In addition to hauling in the extra snow, the museum will also create a little hill and slope for a toboggan and saucer run.
Tickets for the event are on sale now at cmosc.org and are $15 for non-members and $12 for members and the museum advises families who are interested in attending to purchase tickets early on as they usually go fast. The event is also expected to be quite busy as it is one of few in the North Bay Area that has man-made snow made available to play in. San Rafael in Marin County has their annual Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland event for sledding in man-made snow, however this year’s event was a bit sticky due to the warm November temperatures that made the snow melt and unsafe for sledding.
So to get your dose of snow and winter fun in this season, mark your calendars for Jan. 13-15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., put on your galoshes and grab your sled.
Juhl said of the overall fun and popularity the event holds for residents, “It was extremely popular and we are really glad to start it up for a second year.”