The most popular feature in Heritage Museums & Gardens’ Hidden Hollow two-acre outdoor discovery area will be enhanced this fall, providing children and families with expanded outdoor exploration activities in Spring 2018. The “Splash” area, which currently includes a hand pump that children use to fill buckets, watering cans, and other vessels with water, will be enhanced through the addition of a dramatic waterfall and discovery streams.
Beginning September 5, Hidden Hollow will be inaccessible during construction, but visitors can go to the treehouse, view the construction, and learn more about the new activities and features. They can also enjoy some Hidden Hollow activities near the Parade Field.
“Hidden Hollow is a magnet for families and a place where children’s natural curiosity is engaged through the exploration of nature and robust, STEM-based activities that reconnect families and children with the natural world,” said Ellen Spear, Heritage president and CEO. “We are grateful to The James Stoneman Foundation, The Cape Cod Five Foundation, and The Dorr Foundation for their support of features that help children learn through play. Water play provides children with important sensory and learning experiences. This new water experience enables us to expand learning opportunities for school groups and families, furthers Heritage’s commitment to intergenerational learning and self-discovery, and enhances accessibility for visitors of all ages and abilities.”
New features in the fully accessible “Splash” area include a dramatic waterfall, two streams for hands-in water experimentation, and opportunities to build dams, measure water flow, and experiment with how objects sink or float. The new features will expand children’s exposure to STEM ideas as they experiment with a multitude of science concepts, including physics (flow and motion), chemistry (solutions and cohension), biology (plant and animal life), and mathematics (measurement, equivalence, and volume).
“The new water feature will definitely add a ‘wow’ factor to one of the most popular locations at Heritage and engage children in fun learning activities that will prepare them for academic subjects in school,” said Spear. “Since Hidden Hollow opened in August 2010 as one of New England’s first certified Nature Explore Classrooms, more than 380,000 children, teachers, and families have spent the day engaged in outdoor discovery.”
Nestled in a two-acre dry kettle hole—a glacially formed depression common to Cape Cod—Hidden Hollow’s unique topography provides a stimulating and beautiful outdoor setting for discovery and learning. Children can climb stepping stumps, navigate log balance beams, construct forts, create nature-inspired art, build with blocks, dig in sand, experiment with water, make music, engage in sensory investigation with plants, and more.
The project is supported by the James M. Stoneman Charitable Fund, The Dorr Foundation, and The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Trust.
More information is available online at heritagemuseumsandgardens.org or by calling 508-888-3300.