EXHIBITS / MUSEUM MAP
Enjoy attractive exhibits on Oak Ridge, Appalachia and countries around the world. Our motto is “please touch.” Come and learn new ideas, develop useful skills – there is something here for all ages!
Tour our simulated Amazon rainforest, complete with sound effects, a waterfall, a railed walkway, beautiful murals, an observation deck high in the forest canopy, and many trees, flowers, and wild animals! Begin in the Field Station, where you can learn more about rainforests and how you can help protect them. Then, when you’re ready for adventure… it’s time to tour the rainforest!
One of the most popular exhibits at the museum is the “World of Trains.” Inspired by models donated by longtime Oak Ridge model railroader Milton Lloyd and built by members of the Knoxville Area Model Railroaders, the World of Trains wing contains a hands-on play room with a mock-up of a diesel engine and a large HO scale layout called Lloydstown which are open to museum visitors every day. In addition, the wing contains the club rooms of KAMR, a full-size Norfolk Southern caboose, and a garden railroad which are open to museum visitors the third Sunday of each month. Call the museum for hours.
AT HOME IN APPALACHIA: A SUMMER’S DAY WITH SARAH AND JONAH
The cabins and objects in this area tell the story of two fictional children who lived in these cabins during the summer of 1865. Also on display are period crafts and musical instruments that can be heard with a push of a button. Children enjoy dressing up in clothing of the time, “quilting,” “weaving,” “planting vegetables,” and building a log cabin out of Lincoln Logs. Stations with short how-to videos of the Heartland Series depict various home crafts and skills. A computer station offers more in-depth information.
KNOXVILLE IN THE 1910S: CITY LIFE & COUNTRY LIFE
City Life / Country Life consists of two period rooms, circa 1910, juxtaposed for visitors to compare. The objective is for students to discover that life in this area in 1910 was diverse -country families relied on their own skill, while city families relied on urban conveniences.
International Hall presents the culture of many countries. Children can be seen walking around in wooden shoes and ‘making music’ on an African Balafon. Busy hands are also encouraged to handle selected Japanese Kokeshi dolls.
The Waterworks Exhibit has reopened and the new Tugboat is open too. Come visit these beautiful new exhibits!
Waterworks is a hands-on flume that demonstrates the lock system on the Tennessee River. Busy hands send boats down the waterways through the locks daily. Children can find out what it’s like to run a tugboat on the river.
THE BIRD ROOM
This room is up and flying! The room is filled with bird songs common to the East Tennessee area. Try the interactive table and learn what bluebird nests and eggs look like compared to the nests and eggs of other species. View what the environments of birds common to the East Tennessee area are like. Climb down steps to a marsh area where you might see a few surprises! This exhibit is one for all ages to learn and have fun!
The Dollhouse is a permanent exhibit located in the Selma Shapiro Educational Wing of the museum and is one of the most popular exhibits with young visitors. The Dollhouse is a two-story house into which a child five feet tall or less can fit comfortably. All of the furnishings are scaled for kids, and children can “cook” in the kitchen, read in the living room, or put dolls to bed in the bedroom.
A CENTURY OF TOYS
This exhibit displays a sampling of the museum’s toys and dolls from 1900 – 1999. Children love seeing the playthings of earlier generations, and parents and grandparents enjoy some happy memories when they see toys and games that were popular when they were kids.
Sample the breadth and diversity of the animal kingdom. Start with ancient sea creatures that look more like plants than animals, like sea fans, coral, and sponges. Then visit the animals you might see at the beach, like sand dollars, sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and fish. Finally, visit our more familiar mammalian neighbors, like the fox, the deer, and the black bear, and one animal that our ancestors knew better than we do: the mountain lion.
Children and adults love to have their pictures taken with Nanook, our real stuffed polar bear! He guards the Arctic area, which houses artifacts from our northern neighbors.
NATIVE AMERICAN EXHIBIT
Explore the culture of the first Americans and first East Tennesseans. See the museum’s collection of arrowheads and other Native American artifacts, as well as clothing.
EARLY AMERICAN CRAFTS AREA
See a real spinning wheel, various kinds of baskets, handmade furniture, and other crafts from earlier days.
THE 1930’s SCHOOLROOM
Children love playing school while reciting poetry at the podium or singing along while someone plays the antique piano.
The Oak Ridge Corridor: Difficult Decisions
Ed Westcott Photography Exhibit
Appalachian Resource Center
Imagination Gallery, our rotating exhibit space
Black Women in History
Art by self-taught painters from Brazil