What Is The Southwest Cultural Exchange?
Five local institutions will offer free admission during May to each other’s members.
The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts are partnering for a second year as part of the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange.
Guests presenting their membership card from any of the five organizations will enjoy free admission May 1-31. There may be additional costs for special activities or programs. Each organization is offering added activities during May. For membership information on the five organizations, visit the websites listed below.
May Activities At The Participating Organizations
The Air Zoo is a unique, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with over 60 rare aircraft & spacecraft, amazing interactive exhibits, innovative science-based classes & camps, indoor amusement park-style rides, a 4D theater, and full-motion flight simulators. Rain or shine, the Air Zoo’s huge indoor campus truly has something for everyone.
Connecting kids and families with animals and fun is what Binder Park Zoo is all about! A trip to the Zoo offers families a chance to experience a quality recreational experience while being surround by nature. Situated on 433 acres, Binder Park Zoo is not your typical Zoo and features a variety of rides and exhibits, like the award-winning Wild Africa. In Wild Africa, guests go on safari through a 50-acre African national park; including an 18-acre savannah hosting herds of impala, zebra, antelope, gazelle, and ostrich, and the Twiga Overlook where you can hand-feed one of the nation’s largest herds of giraffe! Upon your arrival back to the U.S., you are greeted by Mexican wolves, Chinese red pandas, kangaroos and a snow leopard! Don’t forget to stop by and see the three American black bears recently added to the Zoo.
Open year-round, the Gilmore Car Museum features over 350 remarkable automobiles, displayed in over a dozen historic buildings, including a 1930s Shell Station, a 1941 Silk City Diner, and replica car dealerships from a bygone era. Current special exhibits include: Favorites of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Brass and Nickle Era: Cars of the Automotive Pioneers, The Green Book, Classics of the 1930s, Tin Toy Cars of Yesteryear: From Realistic to Whimsical, and extended by popular demand, American Legends: Hot Rods & Customs, featuring the ‘Lil Deuce Coupe of Beach Boys fame! Members from other participating organizations are also welcome to join us for our season-opening car show, the “Dust Off,” which will feature personally-owned automobiles proudly displayed across the Museum’s 90-acre Historic Campus!
Visit the beautiful Glen Vista Gallery to view the exhibition of Nature Seen through the Eyes of Artist Charley Harper. In a style he called “minimal realism,” Harper portrayed his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements, adding humor and whimsy to engage viewers of all ages. The KNC Education team has designed a series of programs to complement the exhibition, called Inspired by Nature.
May is a great month to explore 1,100 acres of varied habitat with 14 nature trails to choose from. Participate in weekly programs and activities such as Creature Features, Spring Wildflower Walks, hands-on gardening programs, birding hikes, and a family program every Sunday at 2pm. Visit the farmyard animals weekends in May. Full calendar at:
(photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography)
Enjoy our biennial garage sale May 29-30, and special weekend workshops in photography at the Air Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, and Binder Park Zoo. Exhibits on view include the annual High School Area Show, West Michigan Area Show, Chinese Folk Pottery, and Second Sight/Insight ll, combining visual art and poetry by area writers.
So get out there and check out one of the other fun places that you’ve always wanted to check out. May is the month to do it!