Kids looking for an infectiously good time will want to take a day trip to South Bend, where they will find the Memorial HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum.
With the goal of giving children the passion and courage to lead inspired and healthy lives, the HealthWorks! merges a museum with a health education center, forming a place where kids can explore and learn about life.
“At HealthWorks!, children have fun while they learn about making good choices,” said Rebecca Zakowski, an infectionator — otherwise known as a program development specialist — with the museum.
Zakowski, who is also a registered nurse, says visitors are encouraged to use their imagination while learning about nutrition, fitness and the human body.
“A climb across the Skin Crawl wall is paired with learning about their skin, open ended play at the farmer’s market and garden surrounding Vincent’s Tree engages the imagination, and Light Space Play provides a fantastic opportunity for children and parents to enjoy exertainment together through over a dozen games including dodge ball and tennis,” she said.
Owned and operated by Beacon Health System, the museum, located at 111 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 200, is unique with its non-clinical approach to health and wellness education, Zakowski said.
Its 5,000-square-feet exhibit floor is supplemented by the Main Brain Theater and frequent live presentations by its staff of Captains of the Universe and High Flying Kid Motivators.
While the museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, kids also may participate in one of the organization’s summer camps. A “Happy, Healthy Half-Day Camp” is planned for June 20-24, and a “HealthWorks! Hoopla Full-Day Camp” will take place July 18-22. HealthWorks! also is kicking off its “Learn and Play Buffet” this summer.
“Each day, HealthWorks! will feature a program focused on health, science, art or friendly sports and active play,” Zakowski said.
Admission is $6 for children ages 2 and older and adults, and free for children younger than 2.
For more information, call healthworkskids.org.
While you’re there
Looking for some other ideas of what to do when visiting South Bend?
The Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum, 1402 S. Main St., Mishawaka, features a collection of real historic objects that come together in exhibits to tell stories about the area’s local history. Exhibits include a Pioneer Village, Japanese Tea Room and Guske Dollhouse. Hlcm.org
If your family loves cars, the Studebaker National Museum, 201 S. Chapin St., South Bend, is a 55,000-square-foot facility that features three levels of historic Studebakers in climate-controlled galleries. The museum also showcases several design elements from Studebaker’s factory buildings. Studebakermuseum.org
The South Bend Chocolate Company, 3300 W. Sample St., South Bend, offers tours of the facility where families can get a behind-the-scenes look at the factory, as well as explore an onsite museum. Sbchocolate.com
The Potawatomi Zoo, 500 S. Greenlawn Ave., South Bend, is another South Bend favorite, featuring more than 400 animals. The oldest zoo in Indiana also offers educational classes and special events. Potawatomizoo.org