Up & Coming Weekly

June 21, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 22 - 28, 2022 UCW 13 With trampoline parks, playgrounds and plenty of indoor entertainment for big kids, it can be challenging to keep little ones entertained during the hot summer. Fascinate U Children's Museum in downtown Fayetteville offers a place where parents can watch their children explore, make friends and use their imaginations. Set up to resemble a little city complete with a fire station, farm, grocery store and stage, Fascinate U allows children to engage in a world of make-believe where what they want to be, is what they get to be. "is is a great place to take your kids in the summer to get out of the heat and have fun while learning," said Susan Daniels, Fascinate U director. Fascinate U opened its doors in Janu- ary 1999 as part of downtown's initial revitalization efforts. Daniels has been its director since 1998. "I've been here since there was actual parking downtown," she joked. Her passion for children and their education has built a program that fosters a love of learning and discovery for all who step through Fascinate U's flashy purple doors. e museum's mission statement: "We strive to foster children's imagi- nation while developing their social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills through basic play" is evident in the many programs, activities and classes they offer. ere is an activity, project, dem- onstration, or opportunity to learn nearly every weekend at the museum. Children of all ages and interest levels should be able to find something to spark the artist or scientist within. e third Saturday of each month features a different science activity— this month, it's strawberry DNA extrac- tion in the museum's science room on the second floor. ere are crafting opportunities with "Make it Take it" every second Saturday and art classes with a different focus each month for children as young as four up to fifth grade. e museum's tot-room offers a safe space for children under four to explore their environment with sensory toys, puzzles, and make-believe stations. e Cape Fear Model Railroad Club also hosts monthly demonstrations on the first and third Saturday. ere's truly a little something for everyone. In addition to their regularly sched- uled programs, Fascinate U offers several weeklong summer camps to keep kids learning all year. Camps are offered for half and full- day with a focus on art and science and are designed for children entering first grade up to rising fifth graders. Daniels, who teaches the science classes at the museum, reflected on her career at Fascinate U as she transitions to retirement in less than a year. I love working with children, I like the challenges, and I like using a lot of dif- ferent skill sets. I could be writing grant proposals one day or mopping the floor the next," she said. ough Daniels will miss working with the kids and teaching the classes, she's excited about what's on the hori- zon. "We recently received a SCIF grant, [State Capital Infrastructure Fund], and we will use that to get out into the community. We want to know what expansion the community wants to see and how we can better serve in the future. We've been here 23 years and done a good job, but I look forward to new blood coming in. When I started, we weren't even on the internet." And while yes, technology and the times both change with alarming speed, Daniels noted the part of Fasci- nate U that stays the same. "e one thing that never changes is that the children love the role-playing and hands-on opportunities. Kids get technology at home and school; this is where they can get back to being just kids and using their imagi- nation." General admission to the museum is $4 and $3 for anyone over 12. Yearly family memberships are $50. Fascinate U is located at 116 Green St. in downtown Fayetteville. For more information on camps, programs, memberships, and party room rental visit the museum's website at http://www.fascinate-u.com/ or call (910)829-9171. Fascinating summer fun for kids by ASHLEY SHIRLEY EVENT Fascinate U's colorful front entrance. (Photo by Ashley Shirley) ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 FREE HEALTH CARE • for Eligible uninsured Adults call 910.485.0555 Stephen A McDavid Financial Advisor 422 Mc Arthur Rd First Floor Fayetteville, NC 28311 910-488-3699

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