Everything that's needed for Downtown Detectives is in a backpack that may be checked out and used for free anytime the museum is open. It has clues for families to search together for the oldest building with activities at each stop, such as dress-up, a crayon rubbing, role playing, a coloring activity and writing on a slate board.
"Downtown Detectives is a unique way to explore the history within downtown," said Jennifer Amiel, museum education director and creator of the program. "Many museums have family backpacks available for checkout within their facilities, but we wanted to create an experience beyond our walls."
The self-guided exploration can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
"Most people pass by these buildings and never realize their stories," Amiel added. "In the case of the Johnston Building, standing at 465 Main St., they might not realize the place where they do their banking was the old candy shop about one hundred years ago."
The Museum on Main is located at 603 Main St., open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Families may phone in advance to reserve the backpack.
Museum admission is free although donations are appreciated. The Downtown Detectives program is funded by the L.G. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation.
For more information about current exhibits and programs, visit www.museumonmain.org or phone 462-2766.