Pleasanton's Museum on Main is gearing up for a busy late-spring and summer chock full of special events aiming to educate and engage residents of all ages.
The museum's popular Family Days program is back beginning next Saturday (June 3) while a docent-led monthly historic walking tour series is due to get underway the following weekend.
"For each Family Day, we aim to provide families with free, hands-on and fun learning experiences during those long summer days," museum education director Rachel Brickell said in a statement.
And looking toward the walking tours, museum officials said, "These free walking tours will explore the people and buildings that helped make this town what it is today. You will learn about the larger than life figures and the unsung heroes of our town, as well as compare historic photographs from the museum's archive to what is still standing today."
On Saturdays once a month June through September, the museum lawn will host free Family Days designed for children, parents and grandparents around a central theme.
The kick-off event next Saturday (June 3) will focus on "Old Time County Fair", with activities such as carnival games with prizes, mock horse racing, paper quilts, coloring and animal judging tryouts -- "a perfect warmup" with the 2023 Alameda County Fair set to open in Pleasanton two weeks later, Brickell said.
The Family Day on July 8 will be part of the museum's "Celebrate Community" series in partnership with Sunol Wilderness Preserve. "Activities might include learning about Ohlone-related objects and resources like tule, discovering fossils from the park's collection and journaling about nature," museum officials said.
Attendees will have the chance to "Step Back in Time" for the Aug. 5 Family Day, a glimpse at "life in Pleasanton without modern conveniences" with activities such as dipping candles, stamping leather, making smelling salts and pressing tortillas, according to the museum.
A recurring theme will close out the series on Sept. 16. For "Old Time Toys and Games", families can "enjoy an afternoon playing with all types of toys and games including old time wooden toys, optical illusion toys, and retro toys. Participants will also be able to make some toys of their own to take home."
Family Days are set to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the museum at 603 Main St. in the heart of downtown Pleasanton.
Historic walking tours
Offering an on-the-ground experience of "Pleasanton's long and varied history", the monthly walking tour series led by museum staff will start on June 10 with "A Storied Past: Exploring the Buildings in Downtown Pleasanton".
"From the Ohlone to today this walking tour covers how the land along Main Street was used and developed over time," museum officials said. "You will learn about early settlements, the Railroad, Pleasanton's entrepreneurs, and this town's agricultural bounty in the 1890s. This walking tour will also reveal where the first Chinatown was and answer all your burning questions about the rumored tunnels under Pleasanton's Main Street."
The series continues on July 15 with a guided tour along St. Mary Street entitled, "If These Walls Could Talk: Exploring Downtown's Historic Homes, St. Mary Neighborhood".
A similar look at historic homes, this time along Second Street, will follow on Aug. 12. "Pleasanton's history is more than dates and historical time periods. It is about the everyday people that helped build this town," museum reps said. "You will learn about the families that occupied those homes, their contributions, and how they lived their everyday lives in our small but industrious town."
The final tour will harken back to the opening one, a repeat of "A Storied Past: Exploring the Buildings in Downtown Pleasanton" on Sept. 23.
Each walking tour begins at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required as groups are limited to 25 people total (large parties can request a separate group tour). The walks will go on rain or shine, and attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and a hat.
Learn more about all museum programs online at www.museumonmain.org or by phone at 925-462-2766.