Family Museum Announces 2011 Spring Break Spectacular Lineup

Robert Blackford

With a week off from school, area parents and kids are looking for fun and exciting activities during spring break. The Family Museum is offering ten days of just that: programming with topics ranging from live music, live animals, dancing, crafting, and science. All events and performances are included with paid admission or Family Museum membership. Week one is March 14 – 18 and week two is March 28 – April 1. Images included for Jim Gill, Sylvia Branzei/Grossology, and Insect Zoo.


Jim Gill

Performance at 10 a.m.

Jim Gill offers more than a show to watch. Each concert is an opportunity for family play! Jim bangs out energetic rhythms on his banjo while everyone claps, jumps, dances and even sneezes along. The concert is filled, of course, with songs from Jim’s award-winning recordings for young children and the play that he uniquely conveys in his books. Come ready to sing, dance, and play with Jim!


Insect Zoo

Tuesday’s zoo is open noon - 2 p.m. with a presentation of Bugs on Rugs at 1 p.m.

Wednesday’s zoo is open 10 a.m. - noon with a presentation of Bugs on Rugs at 11 a.m.

Do you love bugs? Come see, touch, and learn about all kinds of awesome insects with the Iowa State University Department of Entomology Insect Zoo!  You’ll meet insects found in Iowa and throughout the world. Participants can view and interact with live insects and other arthropods. The Insect Zoo emphasizes the diversity, ecology and behavior of arthropods while participants are exposed to many basic concepts of biology. Visitors will learn about interrelationships among diverse insect groups and their important role in life on Earth.


Musical Masterpieces Day!

Opera Iowa!

“Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing”

Performance at 10 a.m.

West Music’s Instrument Petting Zoo

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The circus can be a fun and exciting place…unless your only job is to slither. Such is the plight of Sid, a serpent in the circus who sees his friends happy in their more interesting jobs and yearns for a better one of his own. Deciding he wants to sing more than anything, Sid sets off on a musical journey around the world – from voice lessons in Rome, singing in a barber shop quartet in London, to joining a rock band in New York. After “trying and failing at everything,” Sid finds his way back to the circus, where his friends show him the meaning of finding true happiness for oneself.

After the show, come to the zoo…of instruments, that is. West Music will set up their instrument “petting” zoo for kids to test, try, and touch a variety of musical instruments.



Presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sylvia Branzei, a.k.a. Her Grossness, returns to the Family Museum to promote the fun and learning of “Grossology.”  Boogers, vomit, urine, sweat, pimples…nothing is off limits with Sylvia!  Come prepared for a little bit of gross-out with a lot of education as to why this icky stuff is crucial to human health and well-being.


Iowa Brass Quintet

Performance at 10 a.m.

Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

Performance at 1 p.m.

Join us for a playful introduction to great music!  The Iowa Brass Quintet brings you the finest in brass chamber music ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary 20th century works. The group was founded at the University of Iowa in the early 1950s and continues to be acclaimed for its artistry in concerts and clinics throughout the U.S.

Alexander is having a bad day. A terrible day. A horrible day. To be quite honest, it's a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But then, everybody has bad days, sometimes.  Alexander will visit the Family Museum and share his tale of woe by reading Judith Viorst’s popular book version of his story.  Craft activities will follow until 2:30 PM.  


The Ad Hawk Improv Ensemble

Interactive Performance at 10 a.m.

Don’t get too comfortable in your seats – Ad Hawk Improv Ensemble will get you acting and moving with spontaneous creativity. Their improvisation theater performance demonstrates the principles of teamwork, trust, and saying "yes!" to new ideas to learners of all ages.  The "liveness" of theatre is their focus, offering a strong contrast to mass media.  The audience engages directly with performers: their suggestions are incorporated into the performance, and volunteers are invited on stage to perform with the actors.


Iowa City Fencing Center


Presentation at 10 a.m.

It isn’t the sword fighting you’ve seen in the movies – this is even cooler!  Modern Olympic Fencing is an exciting, safe, and rewarding activity appropriate for youths and adults alike. The sport develops not only physical fitness, but also problem solving skills and quick-thinking. Fencing is as much a thinking game as it is athletic.  Watch experienced fencers from the Iowa City Fencing Center demonstrate their skills in foil, epee, and saber fencing.  Try your hand at some safe, foam sword fencing, too!


Niabi Zoo

Demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Meet some friendly critters from the Niabi Zoo!  A Zookeeper will bring a variety of animals to share with us, and will teach us about the featured creatures and the zoo’s role in animal conservation.


Comedy Sportz

Interactive performance at 10 a.m.

What would happen if the improv comedians from Comedy Sportz decided to read us a story book?  We have no idea, but we know it will be funny!  Join us for a comically good time for April Fool’s Day, and come ready to play, as the audience will definitely get pulled into the fun!  Comedy Sportz shows are always Rated E For Everyone and their target audience is ages 8 - 80, so the younger crowd and grandparents alike will all have a great time.