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Become a budding history explorer at Cultural Heritage Center

A new museum program focused on families with preschool-aged children is now available to the public at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

The museum has added two new backpacks to the “History Explorers” program that debuted in July, designed specifically for preschool learners. The two “Budding History Explorer” backpacks are “I Know My Animals” and “How Do I Get There?”

“I Know My Animals” leads young visitors and accompanying adults to various animal footprints in the gallery. The backpack includes hands-on activities and a written guide offers questions adults can ask to guide their young learner in their exploration. The five animals featured are the bison, cow, dog, eagle and horse.

“How Do I Get There?” features six different modes of transportation for young learners to explore. Visitors will learn about an airplane, automobile, bullboat, train, stagecoach and farm wagon. The backpack contains a model of each vehicle and lets young learners decide where each vehicle travels – a road, the sky, railroad track or the river. They also learn about different seasons and times of day.

“These two backpacks give both the young learners and the adults with them a fun, hands-on way to explore the museum galleries,” said museum director Jay Smith. “They are a great addition to our new backpack program and we are certain that visitors will enjoy using them.”

The backpacks are checked out at the information desk in the Cultural Heritage Center for use in the museum galleries. There is no charge for using the backpacks. Regular adult admission fees apply; children and South Dakota State Historical Society members always get in free.

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 23, the museum will be open the following holiday hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CST and Sundays from 1-4:30 p.m. Call the Cultural Heritage Center at 605-773-3458 for more information.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.