Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rain Closing

Because of the cold, rainy conditions we had to stay closed today. Tomorrow's forecast is for good weather, so please drop by then!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 29/30 Weekend

Our 2011 season ends this coming weekend... and 2012 will begin with a brand new building. Completion is scheduled for the spring!

Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday, 12-4, we're preparing for Halloween by making North American animal masks, and masks of Thomas Jefferson. We're doing a last scavenger hunt looking for a variety of colors on the trails, and we're doing painting on wood that you can take home: chessboards and folk portraits. Help us celebrate our last weekend at the Keelboat Barn!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Schedule

Saturday, September 3: First Saturday volunteer day, 9 to 11.
Volunteers get in for free. Afterwards we’ll be making model boats
based on the Lewis & Clark keelboat, and we’ll be painting old-style
signs. Come pick your trade and stencil your message...
Sunday, September 4: Boat building and sign painting, inspired by the
book American Folk Art for Kids

Saturday, September 10,
Sunday, September 11: We’re having our last weekend of miniature boat
building and sailing, and last year’s favorite activity, “Mystery of
the Keelboat,” where visitors are given a variety of questions to
answer through clues left aboard the keelboat.

Saturday, September 17,
Sunday, September 18: Do a folk art portrait of yourself, and
practice your calligraphy with a real quill pen. The “Mystery of the
Keelboat” continues... with new clues to find aboard the Red Pirogue.

Saturday, September 24,
Sunday, September 25: Help us decoupage a piece of furniture for the
Center, and take home your own paste collage card. Construct a
weather station and do experiments with the instruments we place

Volunteer Saturday

This coming Saturday, September 3, we are having our Volunteer Meet-up from 9 to 11. We hope to see you there! We'll be working on furniture ideas for the Day of Caring and doing touch-ups on the barn.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 27 and 28

We will be closed for maintenance this coming weekend, August 27th and 28th. We just want to make sure that everything got through the earthquake all right, and to fix some items that got damaged. Thank you again for your patience! The weather this August has not been cooperative. We hope to have a great September and the activities for the rest of the fall will be posted soon.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rain Closing

This morning we opened for our First Saturdays volunteer day. We painted benches, getting them ready for birds and clouds and flowers which we'll add later. Then the rains came! We closed when we got soaked, but we hope to see everyone tomorrow.

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 6 and 7

This coming weekend we'll be building model boats to sail in the river and we'll be collecting soil samples to turn into all-natural paint. The paint will then be used on paper or as slip on pottery. (Clay is available for small bowls and sculptures.) The forecast says it might rain, so check into the blog for closing in case of thunderstorms.

Dave Matthews Tickets

All you Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds/Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center fans, as of today (August 5th) you have the opportunity to give to LCEC when you buy your tickets to the Matthews-Reynolds show at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville on August 20, 2011. Just go to and buy your tickets. You'll be given a 14 digit number that you can then use on the website to designate funds to your favorite charity. Tell your friends to support us also! They'll be supporting environmental education, a new river center, and hands-on activities for kids. And as our visitors you can tell them all about it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Heat Closings

Last weekend we were closed because of heat advisories. Because we operate largely outdoors, any heat index over 95 or 96 can be uncomfortable. We don't have a set closing temperature, but if the heat index is over 99 we are likely to be closed. You can also call 996-7282 (weekend hours only) to learn about closings.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

July Activities

The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center offers families art, carpentry,
and nature activities in an outdoor setting at Darden Towe Park. The
Center is open 10-4 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sundays. Admission is $3
per person. In addition to special activities, there are tours of the
replicas of the historic boats that Lewis and Clark took up the
Missouri. Children must be accompanied by a parent. For more
information, please call 434-979-2425.

July Activities

Saturday, July 2: Volunteer First Saturday, free admission for
volunteers 9 to 11 am. We’re going to be working on the keelboat, and
doing trail maintenance. Come swab the deck! After 11, there will be
Fourth of July printmaking, and a Red, White and Blue scavenger hunt.
From 1-3:30 there will be tours of the Red Pirogue, our newest boat.

Sunday, July 3: Printmaking and bookbinding for kids with artist Rachel Singel

July 9/10: Come learn about the plants that Lewis and Clark would
have used on their expedition, and make pressings out of dandelions
and other common flowers. We’re also constructing model boats. On Sunday,
Rachel Singel will teach bookbinding for children. Visitors can take
home their own handmade books.

July 16/17: We’ll make more model boats and we’ll do weather
experiments from the keelboat. Sunday will be the last session to
learn bookmaking with Rachel Singel.

July 23/24: Come earn your carpentry badge at the Center, and also
have fun with clay.

July 30/31: Carpentry Corner has the return of Nail Art... string,
nails, and wood combine to make bridges, designs, and maps from your

Friday, June 3, 2011

Volunteer First Saturdays

For years, the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center built its keelboat with volunteer help on the First Saturdays of every month at Darden Towe Park. Now that we have an entire fleet of replica boats, we're starting up the tradition again with Volunteer First Saturdays. We need help keeping the pirogues and keelboat in good working order for tours and for forays into the river. Anyone can come anytime from 9 to 11 on the first Saturdays to clean, spackle, varnish, sand, and paint, depending on the need. Iced water provided. Call 979-2425 for more information.

June 4th is our first get-together--wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

June Activities

For June 4 and 5 we're doing more kite making and flying and trying out of new designs. We're also painting petroglyphs to use for storytelling.

June 11 and 12 there's "Make Your Own Museum" where kids can come and fabricate their own displays. Will it be an art museum, a natural history museum, or a rock collection? There are cabinets to fill and signs to paint.

June 18 and 19, Father's Day weekend, we'll be making hand-made cards for Dad. We'll also have Science Station: Weather, which will include science experiments and cloud searches.

June 25 and 26, Carpentry Corner will feature constructing model boats that you can take to the river or float in our tester tub of water. On Sunday, June 26, printmaker Rachel Singel will teach introductory book binding to both children and adults. Kids can make their own book covers and sew their own bindings.

In addition to these special activities, we have carpentry, beading and nature activities every weekend, as well as keelboat tours and challenges. Hours are 10-4 on Saturdays and 12-4 on Sundays. Activities take place in a rustic barn setting (open air) and outside under tents. Come for a visit and explore art, history, and science! Cost is three dollars per person and includes all materials.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kite Flying and River Regatta

This coming Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15th will be our Kite-making Weekend, with kite construction, painting, and flying. Come make an owl kite, or help us build a kite that Benjamin Franklin would have flown!

The Rivanna Regatta will also be happening this Saturday at Darden Towe Park, and the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center will have a boat display and table down at the boat ramp. Come visit the barn and the regatta this weekend...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Season Begins

The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center will be opening its barn doors on Saturday, May 7th at 10 AM. We look forward to greeting and meeting you then. On Saturday, May 8th, we'll be having our Sunday hours, 12-4. From then on out, we'll be changing up activities every weekend through October, as well as offering keelboat tours and carpentry activities.

For the first weekend, we're going to find wildflowers throughout Darden Towe Park and learn how to make illustrations of them in our journals. (No picking please! Just admiring with the eyes and nose.) So far we've found a lovely cluster of bluebells by the river...

Admission is three dollars per person.