Grown-ups “kid around” at OMSI After Dark

Think the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is just for families and kids? Find out when you can play with the exhibits, enjoy a glass of wine, and greet other grown-ups – in a child-free setting every month …

At OMSI After Hours, Jennifer Elliott watches Tiffany Dollar try her hand at playing the wacky “Wack-a-Phone”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On the last Wednesday evening of each month, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the exhibit halls are buzzing with activity; yet, there’s not a child anywhere to be seen.

“We call it ‘OMSI After Dark’,” explains OMSI event planner Andrea Middleton.

“We started this about 2½ years ago,” Middleton added, “opening our doors for adults, 21 and over, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. They can check out the museum, have some beer and wine, enjoy special activities and special performances with great energy, in a fun environment – with no kids.”

In the Turbine Hall, Noah Clark watches Mindy McCullough try her skill at playing the “Tasks for a Robot” demonstrator.

Merisa Whide envisions herself blasting off into outer space, as she snuggles into the space capsule display.

A recent edition of this event, entitled “Come to Your Senses”, focused on the five human senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

Guest speakers and museum educators lead attendees through a variety of experiments based on their current exhibits, and special installations. For example, in the Turbine Room, people got to taste the “Miracle Berry”, which suppresses the sour receptors on your tongue, making sour taste sweet.

Adam the Great challenges guests at the OMSI event to decide whether it’s perception – or reality – as he clearly seems to cut his own arm in half.

And, on stage, comedic magician Adam the Great dazzled folks with a performance he called “Sight and Perception”, asking, ‘Even though you see it – can you really believe it?’”

“OMSI is Portland’s premiere family attraction,” said Middleton. “But for adults without kids, this particular evening is always a lot of fun.”

Earthquake!  Kids shouldn’t have all the fun – here, grown-ups ride the “earthquake house” demonstrator.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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