The L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum will be welcoming visitors to it’s newly renovated and rebranded facility on Saturday, March 26 during the Grand Reopening! Re-launching as the L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum & Exploration Center, visitors can expect to not only experience an amazing transformation of the interior, but can look forward to exploring diverse areas of the Lower Verde River Valley through field trip experiences into the surrounding areas.
The L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum & Exploration Center explores how the history of this region and present-day lives are connected. As visitors journey through the museum and its exhibits showcase the ways desert dwellers – from the ancient Hohokam and the Yavapai to early ranchers and modern-day settlers – found ways to create an oasis in the Verdes, Verde Valley. which is now Fountain Hills. Fountain Hills, located on the site of the former P-Bar ranch and the Verde’s located on the old Box Bar Ranch are a part of this historically rich region.
The grand opening, family-friendly event on March 26 is free to the public and will include crafts, hands-on exploration activities, a scavenger hunt, prizes and lessons on Arizona’s native plants and indigenous animals.
As part of the significant renovation, the museum was updated to include an art gallery and exhibition space where it will feature stunning works by Fountain Hills first resident, Sally Atchinson. Sally’s work features “Desert Blooms”. The gallery will change several times throughout the year and feature a selection of artists and exhibits related to the Southwest.
Additionally, the museum’s first gallery hallway exhibit features the Smithsonian Traveling Poster Exhibit titled “Journey, Stories” exploring how movement has shaped the nation. The display takes a broad look at expansion and migration from earliest settlers and Native American displacement to the effects that advancements in transportation have on mobility. Visitors are challenged to compare their “migration” stories to those depicted in the exhibit.
Interactive displays at the museum include a one-of-a-kind, augmented reality sand table. The hands-on exhibit can be manipulated to create topographic representations of mountains, streams and various weather patterns. Visitors can also play archaeologist and also dig in the sand to uncover dinosaur bones.
“Our mission is to engage, entertain, educate and inspire people across the state about the importance of the Lower Verde River Valley through ever-changing, relevant topics and experiences,” Koss added. “While the last couple of years have been trying, we know the reopening will provide visitors an eye-opening view into the region by using natural and social sciences to not only preserve and interpret the past, but to understand the present and promote future sustainability.”
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65+ and $7 for children six to 18, as well as veterans and health care workers. Members, Fountain Hills students with ID and children under five are admitted free. The museum is located at 12901 N. La Montana Dr., Fountain Hills, 85268, (480) 837-2612.