Re-Opening of Oakland Museum Gallery of California Natural Sciences, Preview Event…
Excited for the weekend but not sure what to do yet? I’ve got just the thing for all you local SF Bay Area families – attend the grand re-opening of the Gallery of California’s Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)!
Though the official re-opening occurred tonight (5/31), the celebration festivities will continue on through this weekend. There will be live music, face painting, and many other family-friendly activities to enjoy on all three levels of the museum. This is the first time that the whole museum is open since its renovation began back in 2007. Quite an occasion to celebrate, wouldn’t you agree?
I had the chance to attend a media preview, along with my daughter, to see the almost finished section. The last time I was here was on a field trip in elementary school. I remember huge wall-to-wall dioramas with stuffed animals (real ones) and printed backdrops. They kind of creeped me out. Well, much has changed. The animals are still there but now in different settings, making them cool and interesting. Seeing these was a bit nostalgic for me and it was nice to share a bit of my childhood experience with my daughter.
The role of humans is now included and shows how they/we have affected the nature here over time. You’ll hear audio of people from certain areas and see how local perception has changed, as reflected in the landscape art on display.
They’ve also made the exhibits a lot more interactive for children and adults alike. There were some parts I had a hard time pulling my daughter away from.
Just a note, don’t look in the grill of the truck on display if you get grossed out easily and don’t want to see what road kill really looks like. I would have included a photo but didn’t want to upset any stomachs…
The Gallery of CA Natural Sciences is divided into seven sections. The first you’ll encounter is that of Oakland. It may seem obvious because of the name ,but did you know the land was once known for being covered with massive Oak trees? I found that hard to imagine based on what the city is like today!
The other sections cover Sutter Buttes, Mount Shasta, Yosemite, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, The Tehachapis (opening in December), and Coachella Valley (opening in December). There’s so much to do and see that it could easily fill a full day, especially if you have some inquisitive visitors in your party. Every bit is packed full of history, information, and fun things to check out.
The gallery is still a work in progress as adjustments continue to be made and exhibits are polished off. In fact, my visit proceeded the opening by a day and last-minute touches were being made. That meant some exhibits were missing glass panels, ladders and tools were all over, and workers were shuffling to finish as much as they could. All the more reason to come back again AFTER the opening!
During the media preview, I was in ‘work mode’ and couldn’t really enjoy it myself. So, my family and I will be visiting again Saturday to play and learn about the state we live in. Come join the excitement this weekend and all summer long with the newly opened Gallery of California’s Natural Sciences!
I was invited to attend a media preview event. I was not required to write about the event and no other compensation was provided. All opinions are 100% my own.