Jan 30, 201402:42 PMThe City

Sacramento Museum Day: 10 highlights to see this weekend

Sacramento Museum Day: 10 highlights to see this weekend

The 16th annual Sacramento Museum Day will be held this Saturday.

This Saturday, 30 of the region’s top museums and cultural destinations will open their doors for the 16th annual Sacramento Museum Day. Together between the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the participating institutions expect to welcome tens of thousands of visitors with free admission and special programming and activities (two destinations, the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town, offer half-price admission).

From NASA robots to towering tractors to scavenger hunts, here are 10 of this year’s Museum Day highlights:

Aerospace Museum of California
Learn about the numerous military aircraft on display at the museum and check out an exhibit of equipment, uniforms and other artifacts honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American aviators in the US military. Also, the museum will host one of its rare "open-cockpit" days, offering visitors a first-hand look at the controls of many of its planes and other aircraft. 3200 Freedom Park Dr. McClellan. 643-3192. aerospaceca.org

California Automobile Museum
Take part in a scavenger hunt, which will guide visitors through the permanent and rotating exhibits inside the Automobile Museum. A variety of vehicles from other local groups like the Sacramento Valley Model T Club and Sacramento State’s Formula SAE racing team will be on display for Museum Day. 2200 Front St. 442-6802. calautomuseum.org

The California Museum
“Women on the Brink,” a brand-new exhibit debuting this Friday, features photographs that document the lives of American women and were taken by the likes of former White House photographer Barbara Kinney. The Mill, a pop-up café, will be offering Temple Coffee and Magpie Catering pastries in the museum courtyard beneath the six-story-tall Constitution Wall sculpture. 1020 O St. 653-7524. californiamuseum.org

Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento's venerable arts landmark will provide free hourly tours of museum highlights, which include the new exhibition showcasing five decades of work from the celebrated abstract expressionist Sam Francis as well as classic works from the museum's collection. 216 O St. 808-7000. crockerartmuseum.org

The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center
The center’s brand-new “Blast from the Past: Rockin’ Rocks & Diggin’ Dinos” exhibit offers interactive displays detailing the work of professional paleontologists, the history and habits of dinosaurs, and the makeup and properties of rocks, crystals and fossils. Wannabe astronomers and astronauts can also view a NASA-built twin robot to the Mars Rover Opportunity that’s currently exploring and sending back information from the planet’s surface. 3615 Auburn Blvd. 808-3942. thediscovery.org

Hedrick Ag History Center
In addition to this Woodland museum’s collection of historic farm equipment, the site will also host a special outdoor display with two massive modern tractors. Visitors can hear live music from local folk outfit the Putah Creek Crawdads between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as enjoy some Southern comfort from Papa Dale’s Drivin’ Diner, which will be serving up hearty Bayou-style fare from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1962 Hays Ln. Woodland. 530-666-9700. aghistory.org

Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum 
On Saturday, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will honor the 160th anniversary of the founding of Sacramento's first public school in 1854. There, visitors can learn about the history of the region’s public schools and see costumed characters like Dr. Harvey Harkness, who was Leland Stanford’s personal physician and served as Sacramento's first school superintendent. 1200 Front St. 483-8818. scoe.net/oldsacschoolhouse

Roseville Utility Exploration Center
Don’t miss the Roseville Utility Exploration Center’s new exhibit “Earth from Space”—which was organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Travelling Exhibition Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The show will take visitors up, up and away with a number of satellite images capturing everything from a massive hurricane to the Great Pyramids to grid-like swaths of farmland. 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. Roseville. 746-1550. roseville.ca.us/explore

Sacramento Children’s Museum 
Little ones can check out the museum’s recently debuted Lego-themed display, have their faces painted, visit a bubble-making station and take part in hands-on activities like painting and sculpting blocks of ice. A number of vendors and food trucks like Sun Pizza and Art of Popcorn will be fueling fun all day long. 2701 Prospect Park Dr. Rancho Cordova. 638-7225. sackids.org

Statewide Museum Collections Center
A first-time Museum Day participant, the Statewide Museum Collections Center will be conducting guided tours of its numerous vaults, archives and processing rooms (an orientation exhibit will be open for self-guided tours). The facility provides over 160,000 square feet of storage for over one million historic objects and artifacts belonging to the Department of Parks and Recreation. 4940 Lang Ave. McClellan. 263-0805. parks.ca.gov

For a full list of venues participating in Sacramento Museum Day, click on this handy guide at sacmuseums.org.