Image courtesy of Kids Discovery Museum | Inclusivity and community shall be the order of the day at the Kids Discovery Museum’s annual birthday bash celebration, happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3.

KiDiMu birthday bash to celebrate ‘power of play with our neighbors’

Inclusivity and community shall be the order of the day at the Kids Discovery Museum’s annual birthday bash celebration, happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3.

This year’s party theme, “Celebrating with our Neighbors,” was chosen to highlight the museum’s many collaborators, KiDiMu officials said. Featured performances, demonstrations and activities will engage visitors of all ages in interactive experiences, and admission is free all day.

The bash will also feature complimentary family attractions, demonstrations and entertainment on the Island Gateway Plaza, in front of the museum.

“We feel honored to be a part of a community committed to opening young minds,” said Susie Burdick, KiDiMu’s executive director. “This day of celebration is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for the continued financial and volunteer support, without which KiDiMu wouldn’t be able to nurture and empower early learners.”

The day’s fun will begin with a walk through Winslow.

Island Fitness instructor Tamera Roza will lead a warmup on the plaza at 10 a.m.

Then, participants, led by Bainbridge Bands musicians and assisted by Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island volunteers, will head out to celebrate the power of play with KiDiMu, and the whole town, as they stroll through Winslow in a festive parade, which will return to KiDiMu after a short loop.

Would-be walkers are encouraged to register in advance at www.kidimu.org or at the museum to receive free commemorative T-shirts. The walk is free for all participants, and there is no registration fee.

After the walk, all the party guests will enjoy free fun on the plaza.

At 10:30 a.m., Poulsbo Leikarringen, a youth Norwegian dance group, clad in traditional costumes, will put the audience in the party mood with traditional folk dancing.

Bainbridge Performing Arts’ Theatre School students will follow with a short performance at 11 a.m. Then, kiddie rockers Harmonica Pocket will perform at 11:30 a.m.

At 12:15 p.m., Island Aikido will share some positive energy as part of a martial arts demonstration. Then, at 12:45 p.m. West Sound Wildlife Shelter’s animal ambassador will take the stage to share their secrets and tips.

For the program finale, Bainbridge High School Spartronics’ robot, will show off its skills at 1:15 p.m.

In addition to scheduled performances, families will also enjoy many other free attractions between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. offered by booth hosts: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Bainbridge Prepares, the Boys &Girls Club of Bainbridge Island, Malone Pediatrics and the West Sound Wildlife Shelter.

Kids will also get to climb aboard a fire truck (from 1 to 2 p.m.) or into a police car (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), which will be present on site — unless Bainbridge firefighters or police are called to action, of course.

For those overwhelmed by the carnival-like atmosphere, there will be an option to chill out, take 10 — and still support the museum.

Dr. Brian Kovara from Living Well Chiropractic &Massage will offer 10-minute chair massages for $10, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting KiDiMu.

Food and drink from That’s A Some Pizza will be for sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to keep revelers refreshed.

For a detailed schedule and the latest information on KiDiMu’s birthday bash, summer camps and other programs, visit www.kidimu.org or call 206-855-4650.

KiDiMu is located downtown, at the corner of Highway 305 and Winslow Way.

The party will be as much a celebration of the museum’s work in the community, Burdick said, as it is an opportunity to celebrate relationships.

“KiDiMu’s main goal is to serve families,” she said. “To accomplish that, we offer our own hands-on exhibits and programs, and collaborate with local partners to connect young children and their families with valuable community resources. The bash is an opportunity for us to highlight and thank the many collaborators who recognize the importance of play and help us open young minds.”

The museum officially opened in 2005, though it was the result of many past years of interest and passion by its founders, Burdick explained.

“[The] first meetings took place in 2001,” she said. “A group of dedicated volunteers, led by Molly Hogger and Harriet Davis, discussed the idea of a local children’s museum, which would help close our region’s early learning gap and support parents.

The museum was then incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2003, she said, and opened its doors to the public in the Packard building on Madison in 2005.

In June of 2010, KiDiMu reopened in its new permanent location at the Island Gateway.

That building was, in fact, the first LEED silver certified children’s museum in Washington, something which remains, Burdick said, a treasured milestone for the staff.

“The move to the new building — now owned by the museum — was an important milestone because not only it ensures long-term financial sustainability for the organization, but also means that the Island now has a permanent home for early learning to serve families with young children in our community and our region,” she said.

“It also allows us to better focus on strategic planning as well as day-to-day operations and programming — key to the implementation of the museum’s mission to spark children’s curiosity through play and experiential learning.”

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