10796588489?profile=RESIZE_710xParents and kids can get a close-up view of prehistoric life when they visit the ’Dinosaur Explorer’ exhibit, which opens Sept. 15 at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach. Besides dinosaur displays and actual fossils, visitors will find a variety of interactive exhibits. Photos provided

10796589284?profile=RESIZE_400xBy Janis Fontaine

The Cox Science Center and Aquarium, formerly the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, has undergone several upgrades and improvements as well as a name change.
On Nov. 15, 2021, the center announced a record donation from Howard and Wendy Cox of Palm Beach. Their $20 million gift is nearly half of the center’s $45 million capital expansion campaign.
That support helps the museum bring outstanding content to families. Kids can draw inspiration from the “Dinosaur Explorer” exhibit, which will open Sept. 15. It features a series of dinosaur displays, authentic casts and actual fossils. A variety of interactive activities rounds out the experience.
The center just published its 2022-23 Education Guide, available on its website. Here are two of the most popular programs:
The GEMS Club — Girls Excelling in Math and Science — is in person again. Designed for students in grades 3-8, the club meets the last Tuesday of the month from 5-7 p.m. for pizza, hands-on activities and a female guest speaker. Topics: Newton’s Power Struggle (Sept. 27); Deep Sea Destruction (Oct. 25); Unveiling the Universe (Nov. 29), and Light Up the Night (Dec. 27).
Code Palm Beach is continuing its coding workshops for kids ages 6-14 through fall. Code Palm Beach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts monthly events with volunteer teachers to introduce K-12 students to computer coding technology. This beginner course meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. Advance registration required. An intermediate course will also be offered. Call 561-425-8918 or visit codepalmbeach.com or email team@codebeachtech.org.
The Cox Science Center and Aquarium is at 4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach. 561-832-1988; www.coxsciencecenter.org.

Songs, rhythm and more
Most of the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum programming is geared to ages 2-5. The museum still closes from 12:30 to 1 p.m. for cleaning, a coronavirus precaution that stuck, program manager Linda Abbott said.
“The playground stays open if you just can’t bear to leave,” she said.
Here are a few programs offered in September:
Music Circle with Noam Brown is an intro to music for your toddler. Held at 11 a.m. Thursdays through December.
Baby Rhythms is a fairly new but popular class that exposes the littlest ones to the magic of rhythm. It meets at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays.
Sensational Story ’n More is a weekly story time offered on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. through Nov. 30.
Messy play, a favorite for kids and adults because they don’t have to clean up, will continue on Thursday afternoons.
The Schoolhouse Children’s Museum is at 129 E. Ocean Ave., Boynton Beach. 561-742-6780; www.schoolhousemuseum.org.

Family art classes
The Boca Raton Museum of Art’s popular Saturday art class for families will continue at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 for kids aged 5 and older and a parent, grandparent or adult guardian. The inspiration for the project is drawn from a current exhibition, and September’s program is “Monumental Backdrops.” The exhibit, “Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy,” features scenic backdrops made for movies from 1938 to 1968. $5 for adult members, $10 nonmembers.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art is in Mizner Park at 501 Plaza Real. 561-392-2500; bocamuseum.org.

Nature explorations
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center had a silent partner of local advocates and protectors called the Friends of Gumbo Limbo since it was founded in the 1980s. Many of the programs were offered with the support of the nonprofit. Then the coronavirus came. It seemed like it might destroy the nature center and derail the Friends, but instead the organization came back with a bigger mission and a new name: the Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards.
The Nature Center educators are excited to welcome kids back to in-person programming. Reservations are required for these programs.
During the Citizen Science Squad, kids aged 9 and older gain hands-on experience in the collection of scientific data that are used in Gumbo Limbo’s conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. Offered 2-3 p.m. Sept. 24. Resident/Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards $5; all others $8.
Little Wonders is a chance for you and your child, ages 3-4, to learn about the nature around us through stories, exploration and crafts. 10-11 a.m. Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Resident/Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards $8; all others $10.
Nature Detectives is a monthly kids program that features story time, exploration and crafts for ages 5-6. Learn the wonders of nature together through story times, explorations and crafts. Offered from noon-1 p.m. Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Resident/Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards $8; all others $10.
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is at 1801 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton. 561-544-8605; www.gumbolimbo.org.

Marine life adventures
Since 1998, the Sandoway Discovery Center has been protecting our environment and introducing visitors to freshwater and marine animals. Learn about native and invasive reptile species. Meet sharks and other fish at the coral reef pool. Explore the private shell collection and the native plant and butterfly garden.
Special events:
Discovery Series: Reptiles — Sept. 22. Two sessions are offered: Session 1: 2:30 p.m.; Session 2: 3:15 p.m. A hands-on discovery of reptiles and why they are important through crafts and artifacts. $8 non-members, $2 members. Reservations required. Best for ages 3-5 years.
Beach Cleanup — Volunteers needed for a beach cleanup from 8-10 am. Sept. 17.
Ongoing programs:
Alligator Meet and Greet — 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. This program features an informative talk about alligators and a chance to meet a baby alligator. Included with admission. All ages.
Aquarium Feedings — 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Daily feedings teach fun facts about marine life. Included with admission.
Story time with Darlene — 11 a.m. Wednesdays. Hear a story about an animal adventure and meet some resident critters.Included with admission.
Animal Encounters — 3 p.m. Fridays. Meet the resident animals and learn about their behaviors and characteristics.
The Sandoway Discovery Center is at 142 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach. Some programs are free with admission of $6 for ages 3 and older. 561-274-7263; sandoway.org.

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