'Playing Grown Up' and Other Things to Do Before School Starts

Summer vacation is winding down, but there's still time to squeeze in a day trip to a local museum. Here's a list of Peninsula museums and some of the cool exhibits you can catch this month.

San Mateo County History Museum

"Honoring Steve Jobs,'' ongoing. A new addition to the museum's permanent exhibits honors the late Steve Jobs with displays featuring an original 1988 NeXT computer, part of the company that Jobs founded in Redwood City when he left Apple in the 1980s for a time. A variety of other objects, including books, brochures and more are also on display.

"Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience in San Mateo County,'' ongoing. Exhibition tells the stories of the diverse people who came to the area. It highlights the experiences of the early immigrant groups-- Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Italians and Portuguese -- in the late 1800s.

"San Mateo County History Makers: Entrepreneurs Who Changed the World,'' ongoing. Visitors are invited to review biographies of such innovators as A.P. Giannini (who created the Bank of America and lived in San Mateo) and other entrepreneurs whose innovations have left a substantial impact.           

"Playing Grown Up: Toys from the Harry P. Costa Collection,'' through Dec. 31. An exhibition of antique toys including pedal cars and fire trucks, a "G-men Fingerprint Set,'' a Lionel train set and many more.
$3-$5; free children ages 5 and under. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4
p.m. 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. (650) 299-0141, (650) 359-1462,

Belmont Historical Society Museum

Located in the historic Mansion Building in Twin Pines Park, the museum has limited hours. Call (650) 595-7441 or go to www.belmont.gov for information.

Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia and Classic Toy Museum

This museum is dedicated to the history of Pez candy dispensers and timeless and favorite toys. Colorful exhibits feature toys of the past 50 years including Tinker Toys, Erector Sets, Lincoln Logs, Mr. Potato Head, View-Masters and Colorforms. There are 280 Pez candy dispensers from the 1950s to the present on display. An interactive exhibit explores Pez in the media and as a pop culture icon.

$1-$3; free children ages 3 and under. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6
p.m. 214 California Drive, Burlingame. (650) 347-2301,

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

The center's permanent collection spans ancient to contemporary art with important holdings of ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian arts and artifacts; arts of Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Native America; European and American paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture; and an outstanding collection of Rodin sculptures.

Free. Open Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Palm Drive and Museum Way, Stanford University. (650) 723-4177, www.stanford.edu/dept/SUMA.

For docent-led tours, call  (650) 725-8352.
Coastal Arts League Museum (ongoing)

The museum showcases the work of coast-side and San Francisco Bay Area artists and art groups.

Free. Thursday-Monday, noon-6 p.m. 300 Main St., Suites 3 and 6,
Half Moon Bay. (650) 726-6335, www.coastalartsleague.com.

Computer History Museum

The museum's permanent collection houses thousands of artifacts from the early days of computing.

Ongoing exhibit: "Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess,'' ongoing. A 1,000-squarefoot exhibit detailing the theoretical foundations developed by
computer pioneers such as Alan Turing and Claude Shannon; the development of PC chess software; and the story of IBM's chess playing supercomputer Deep
Blue. Visitors will also be able to explore important software.

Free; photo ID required. Open for public tours Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.; Friday, 1 p.m.; first and third Saturday, 1 and 2 p.m. 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. (650) 810-1010, www.computerhistory.org.


CuriOdyssey, formerly The Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education, was founded in 1954, and welcomes more than 80,000visitors every year with a variety of hands-on programs, science exhibits, wildlife encounters, gardens and more.

CuriOdyssey Special Exhibits (ongoing):

"Meet the Keeper Talk,'' 11:30 a.m., daily except Sun.
Meet the Animal Keepers as they discuss a different animal every day and
answer questions about animal behavior.

"River Otter Feeding," 12:30 p.m., daily.The river otters frolic and play during their daily feeding which can be observed from both above ground and through the underwater observation window.

"Bobcat Feeding,'' 1 p.m., daily. Watch the playful young bobcats chow down during their afternoon feeding.

"Paws and Claws Wildlife Show,'' 1 and 3 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; 1:30 p.m., Wed. and Fri.

"Animals in Action,'' 10:30 a.m., Tue. and Thu.

"Tuesday Tales: Story Time at Coyote Point Museum,'' 11 a.m. Tue.

"Intertebrate Corner,'' Get up close to a Tarantula,
Black Widow spider, or an array of Beatles at the museum's new exhibit.

"Tinkering,'' Every invention, from a sewing needle to a
solar cell, came about as the result of tinkering and experimentation. The
museum's newest exhibit highlights tinkering in the process of innovation.

$4-$8; children under 2 free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.; noon-5
p.m. Sun. 1651 Coyote Point Dr., San Mateo. (650) 342-7755,

Hiller Aviation Museum

This museum covers the history of airplanes in Northern California from an 1869 unmanned plane to today's jets and also looks ahead to possible future designs. The museum features full-sized models, a restoration shop where new museum acquisitions are being repaired and preserved for later display, hands-on displays, and an aviation library.

Hiller Special Exhibits (ongoing):

"Young Eagles,'' 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Kids between ages 8-17 fly free every third Saturday of the month.

"Soar with Books,'' 11 a.m. A pre-school reading program offered the fourth Saturday of each month.

$6-$9; free children ages 4 and under, with a paid adult. Daily,
10 a.m.-5 p.m. San Carlos Airport, 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos. (650)
654-0200, www.hiller.org.

Moffett Field Museum

The museum is dedicated to planes and other memorabilia of the military and its history at Moffett Field. The museum consists of a series of rooms
designed to display artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, and model aircraft.
There are five display areas and a large library.         

Free; photo ID required to visit. Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Moffett Field, Building 126, Moffett Boulevard, off state Highway 101,
Mountain View. (650) 603-9827, www.moffettfieldmuseum.org.

Museum of American Heritage

The museum, located in the historic Williams House, preserves and presents the evolution of American invention and technology by collecting, conserving and exhibiting the electrical and mechanical devices developed over the last two centuries.

Free. Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto.
(650) 321-1004, www.moah.org.

Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo

At this museum and zoo, children are encouraged to think, create and play.

Free; donations accepted. Museum and Zoo: Tuesday-Saturday, 10
a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m. 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. (650)

Peninsula Museum of Art

A regional art museum focusing on artists from the Peninsula and San Francisco area that redefine art. It is housed in the Twin Pines Art Center. The Art Reference Library holds a collection of art historical surveys and books on well-known artists as well as special collections on women artists, Asian art, the business of art, and instruction books for studio artists. Library is for on-site reading only. (Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Free. Wednesday-Friday, noon-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-4
p.m. 10 Twin Pines Lane, Belmont. (650) 654-4068, www.peninsulamuseum.org.

San Carlos History Museum

533 Laurel St., San Carlos. (650) 802-4354.

--Bay City News

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