KidZone Museum’s Big Day Out to highlight Chinese culture | SierraSun.com

KidZone Museum’s Big Day Out to highlight Chinese culture

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Big Day Out Celebrates China will be held Sunday, June 1 at the KidZone Museum. The event will feature museum play, crafts, carnival games and face painting, all kicking off at 11 a.m.

There will also be a barbecue, raffle and silent auction. The famous San Francisco Jing Mo Lion Dancers will perform at 1 p.m.

"Chinese Lion dancers are like giant puppets driven by skilled martial arts performers," said KidZone Museum Executive Director Carol Meagher. "We are happy to bring this rare cultural experience to our community."

The Jing Mo Dancers have performed in the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade for the past 16 years and are involved in the San Francisco community. They are a diverse group of performers, with their youngest starting at 5-years-old.

A tea-tasting room, sponsored by Starbucks, will also be on-site.

TAKE FLIGHT CHINA

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The theme of Big Day Out Celebrates China is based on the museum's current exhibit "Take Flight China," where children can pretend to travel to China and also learn about the Chinese culture though hands-on play. In the fall, the Take Flight exhibit will travel to another country — chosen by a museum member and community vote.

Tickets are $15 for adults and teens; $10 for 3- to 10-year-olds and children 2 and under are free.

Tickets include barbecue lunch, entertainment and museum admission (which is an $8 per person value). Activity and raffle tickets will be sold on site. Advance admission tickets are available at Riverside Studios, The Office BOSS, The Bookshelf, KidZone Museum and at kidzonemuseum.org. All event proceeds benefit the KidZone Museum.

"We have a Big Night Out fundraiser that is great fun for adults," said Big Day Out event chair Carrie Ridgel. "While that fundraiser is successful, many of the KidZone Museum volunteers wanted to offer an event that directly aligns with our mission to inspire learning through creative play and discovery, while involving the very audience that our organization exists to benefit."

The success of events like Big Day Out are essential for the KidZone, since a majority of the nonprofit's operating budget comes from fundraisers.

"Admissions account for only 28 percent of the KidZone Museum's income," said Meagher. "We have to raise the rest of the funds through donations, sponsorships, fundraisers and grants."

The KidZone Museum hosts more than 22,000 visits annually, and 15 percent of those visitors are from low-income families, who receive free admission. The small facility limits the on-site programming to be for children under the age of 6, while most children's museums offer exhibits and programming through at least all elementary ages.

"The only way to increase our offerings to include older elementary kids and even tweens and teens, is to increase our physical space. That's our big dream," Ridgel said.

Event sponsors include Suddenlink, La Galleria, Mountain Home Center, Starbucks and NIMS & Associates.

The KidZone Museum is located at 11711 Donner Pass Road in Truckee. For more information or sponsorship opportunities call 530-587-KIDS or visit KidZoneMuseum.org.