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  • Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association Fall Hours and Programs

    The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA), your portal to Nantucket’s Natural world, announces its schedule for another fall full of science education, research, and exploration of the sky, land, and sea of Nantucket Island through its award-wining programs, events, and properties.

    Fall Hours
    Updated hours for MMA properties are listed below.
     
    Aquarium (28 Washington Street): Friday-Sunday, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Hinchman House Natural Science Museum (7 Milk Street): Friday-Sunday, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Historic Mitchell House (1 Vestal Street): Fridays, 10 AM - 4 PM
    Research Center (2 Vestal Street): Saturdays, 10 AM - 12PM
     
    A MMA property pass ($20 Adult, $12 Child) provides admission to the Aquarium, Hinchman House Natural Science Museum, and Historic Mitchell House, and can be purchased in-person upon entering the properties. A single entry to the Historic Mitchell House is available for $10. In addition to entry at the three properties, the property pass provides admission to an Open Night, which must be registered for in advance. Admission to all properties is FREE for MMA Members.
     
    Fall Programs
    Details and registration links for the programs featured below can be found on the MMA website’s calendar at https://www.mariamitchell.org/calendar.
     
    Open Nights at Loines Observatory are offered Thursdays from 8PM - 9PM ($20 admission, free for Members, free with property pass). New this year, you must register in advance online at: https://www.mariamitchell.org/open-nights for these programs. As always, MMA staff will lead constellation tours and guide visitors through different viewing stations inside and outside the observatory domes. Participants will have a chance to view the Moon, planets, star clusters, nebulae, and even other galaxies! Open Nights will end on October 27.
     
    Fall Feeding Frenzy is offered daily, Monday through Sunday, from 9AM - 10 AM (group price is $75 for Members, $125 for Non-Members – up to 5 guests). Join MMA Aquarium staff on a private tour as they feed the ever-hungry creatures at the Aquarium before it opens to the public! You will learn all about the fascinating marine animals as you observe their unique feeding behaviors. The Feeding Frenzy is very popular, so advance registration is required. The maximum capacity per registration is 5 guests. At least one adult must sign up with children. This program ends on October 7.
     
    Ravenous Reptiles is offered daily, Monday through Sunday, from 9AM - 10 AM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Learn about the unique adaptations of turtles, frogs, snakes, and more at the MMA Natural Science Museum! You will get to get to touch or hold several of the MMA Natural Science Museum display animals. If you love animals, this a great way to learn about native and non-native species up-close. Pre-registration is recommended. At least one adult must sign up with children. This program is designed to be interesting for adults and children ages 4 and up. This program will continue throughout the fall.
     
    Nantucket Bird Walk with Ginger Andrews is offered Saturdays from 7:45AM - 10AM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Join Ginger Andrews, Nantucket native, MMA Field Ornithologist, and Inquirer and Mirror columnist, to look for amazing Nantucket birds. With fun facts, local natural history, and humor, Ginger Andrews leads a fascinating tour. Bird Walks will explore various habitats around town and beyond, depending on availability of participants’ transportation. Indoor study, using the collections in the Research Center, may also be used on cold or rainy days. This program will continue throughout the fall.
     
    Biological Collections Open Hours is offered at the Research Center on Saturdays from 10AM - 12 PM (Free to all). Join the MMA's Field Ornithologist, Ginger Andrews, to learn about the collections, why collections are so important to science, and examine different specimens during each session. From specimens of birds and mammals to insects and plants, you never know what will be on display! This program will continue throughout the fall.
     
    Fall Beach Biology Field Trip is offered Saturdays from 2PM - 3:30PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Join Aquarium staff to learn about the fascinating biology, ecology, and geology that make Nantucket's beaches so unique. We will discover shells and bones of over 15 species of marine animals and are likely to observe live mole crabs, sand fleas, shore birds, beach insects, and seals! This program meets at the Madaket Beach Parking Lot. Participants must have their own transportation. At least one adult must sign up with children. This program will continue throughout the fall.
     
    Fall Marine Ecology Field Trip is offered Sundays from 2PM - 3:30PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Help collect, identify, and release fish, crabs, shrimp, and other marine life! The Harbor is filled with interesting animals that will amaze you in their shapes, colors, and habits. This program is part of a long-term research project and is interesting for adults and children alike. This program meets at the parking lot at the Hither Creek Beach Access, Madaket. Participants must have their own transportation to caravan to the beach. At least one adult must sign up with children. This program will continue throughout the fall.
     
    Bug Bonanza is offered Fridays from 11AM - 12PM and Saturdays from 1PM - 2PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Enjoy an afternoon collecting insects with the Natural Science Museum staff! We will learn how to collect insects like a scientist, use microscopes, and read dichotomous keys to identify each creature that we catch. This is a reoccurring program, but the specific focus and materials provided will change each week. This program is appropriate for children ages 4 and up. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and all participants must register. Please check in for this program at the front desk of the Natural Science Museum on 7 Milk Street. This program ends on October 30.
     
    Nature Story Hour is offered Fridays from 1PM - 2PM, Saturdays from 11AM - 12PM, and Sundays from 1PM - 2PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Enjoy your afternoon with this program specially-designed for the young explorer in your family! During each session, an MMA educator will read a nature or science related book, introduce you to one of the MMA’s animal friends, and we will finish up with an activity related to the story! This is a reoccurring program, but the specific focus and materials provided will change each week. This program is appropriate for children ages 3 and up. All children must be accompanied by an adult and all participants must register. Please check in for this program at the front desk of the MMA Natural Science Museum on 7 Milk Street.
     
    Discovery Sundays at Discovery Park, beginning Sept. 18, is offered Sundays from 10AM - 2PM (Free to all). Join the Maria Mitchell Association at the Discovery Playground at Hinsdale Park! Every Sunday we will bring an animal touch tank and fun STEAM activities for the public! Come and explore the curious world of STEAM with us! No registration necessary. Meet at the Discovery Playground, 54 Old South Road.
     
    WYN: Whatever You Need Homework Help is offered Wednesdays through Sundays from 3PM - 4PM (Free to all). Do you have science, math or history homework that you don’t want to tackle alone? Or do you just want to explore how to use laboratory microscopes and equipment? Drop into the Maria Mitchell Research Center, on 2 Vestal Street, and dive into the world of exploration! Walk-ins welcome, no registration required but encouraged. Feel free to email ahead of time if you have a specific question you need help with: jgurley@mariamitchell.org.
     
    Fall Night Marine Ecology Field Trip is offered Sept. 11 and Sept. 29 from 8PM - 9PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Join our Aquarium staff to learn about the fish, squid, crabs, and more that come out to feed at night in the shallow water. This program meets at the MMA Aquarium, 28 Washington Street. Flashlight or headlamps will be provided, but feel free to bring your own lighting, too! At least one adult must sign up with children.
     
    Owl Prowl is offered Sept. 15 from 6:45PM - 8:15PM, Oct. 6 from 6:40PM - 8:10PM, and Oct. 27 from 6PM - 7:30PM ($45 per participant). Join the MMA's Field Ornithologist, Ginger Andrews, as we listen for calls of a variety of nocturnal animals and birds. We will watch for owls as they begin their nightly activity. While an owl sighting is not guaranteed, you will certainly be able to observe several fascinating nocturnal animal species. This program is meant for adults, but children 8 and up are welcome to register with an adult guardian.
     
    Big History Nights is offered on Sept. 22 and Sept. 29 from 6:30PM - 8PM (Free to all). Join Dr. Rich Blundell, visiting scientist at the MMA, for a weekly Big History Storytelling at Loines Observatory. "Big History," an academic discipline that examines history from the Big Bang to the present, has been pursued since the Renaissance. During this 90-minute visual lecture incorporating large-scale videos and the Loines Observatory telescopes, Dr. Blundell will tell the fascinating story of the cosmos and our place in it. Registration is required.
     
    Earth Story Walk & Talk with Dr. Rich Blundell is offered on Sept. 22 and Sept. 29 from 2PM - 3:30PM ($25 per participant). Join the MMA's visiting scientist, Dr. Rich Blundell, on this 2.9 mile walk through the history of planet Earth, each stride will account for approximately one million years of natural history. Along the way, we will stop to explore the major thresholds of geologic time and draw on the local setting whenever possible to help tell the story. Come ambulate and contemplate the established, scientific understandings, and reconsider how the events and processes of deep time have led to our current global predicament. By considering the broader scales of life on Earth, we will gain new insights to reinterpret the science in more meaningful ways. Registration is required.
     
    Four Centuries Domestic Tour is offered Sept. 10 and Oct. 1 from 10AM - 12PM. ($10 per participant). A unique and extremely popular collaborative walking tour with the MMA's Deputy Director & Curator of the Mitchell House, the Nantucket Preservation Trust, and the Nantucket Historical Association that looks at the changes in domestic life over four centuries and how it shaped homes, buildings, neighborhoods, and land use. Participants should meet at the Oldest House on Sunset Hill (tour will end on Main Street). Tour includes brief visits inside each building visited. No registration required.
     
    Maria Mitchell and the Daring Daughters of Nantucket Island Walking Tour is offered Sept. 17 from 10AM - 12 PM ($10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members). Join Jascin Leonardo Finger, curator of the Mitchell House, for a walking tour concerning the lives of Maria Mitchell and Nantucket’s famous and infamous women, as well as the lesser-known women of our island. Learn why whaling, Quakerism, and the isolation of an island afforded these women opportunities that women elsewhere in America at the time were not afforded. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
    The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.

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