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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:00 am

One way to learn history and science is to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind educational setting.

Whether visitors want to experience hands-on interactive science and wildlife exhibits, use the early tools of the region’s rich agricultural history or even admire the art of one of today’s most influential comic book artists, these Central Valley museums can provide a unique experience.

World of Wonders Science Museum

2 N. Sacramento St., Lodi


The World of Wonders Science Museum in Downtown Lodi takes a hands-on approach on teaching science, leaving visitors of all ages saying, “Wow.” The museum teaches lessons in sound, electricity, physics and the human body using a number of interactive exhibits. On Aug. 16, the WOW Museum will host Solar Day, where exhibits on solar power provide fun activities like racing miniature cars.

Hours of operation: Open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

San Joaquin County Historical Museum

11793 N. Micke Grove Road, Lodi


Located in Micke Grove Regional Park, the property includes four historical buildings, including Stockton’s founder Capt. Charles Weber’s cottage, which was built in 1847. The museum offers plenty of information about local history, starting with the native Yokuts and Miwok residents and ending with the development of modern agriculture in the region. This year’s summer events include an annual benefit concert by Randy Sparks in July.

Hours of operation: Summer: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Winter: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Haggin Museum

1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton


Located in Stockton’s Victory Park, the spectacular three-story brick building houses artwork from the late 19th and early 20th century. The museum also showcases local talent like Stockton clay artist Carla Malone, whose sculptures are on display until July 20. Beginning in October, the Haggin Museum will host an exhibit on acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross, whose illustrations have appeared in both Marvel and DC Comics.

Hours of operation: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 1:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; 1:30 to 9 p.m. first and third Thursdays.

Double Dip Gallery

222 W. Pine St.


Newly opened this year, the Double Dip Gallery is a combination art gallery and ice cream shop. While browsing through the store, enjoying the many different paintings and jewelry peices on display, treat yourself to a cone of your favorite ice cream flavor.

Hours of operation: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday; noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Hill House Museum

826 S. Church St., Lodi


Built for jeweler George W. Hill and his family in the early 1900s, the Hill House is a Queen Anne Victorian that has stood the test of time in Lodi. Many of its original furnishings have been left intact.

Hours of operation: Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.; other times by appointment.

Joseph Spenker Museum

Jessie’s Grove Winery, 1973, W. Turner Road, Lodi


The museum, located at one of Lodi’s premier wineries, exhibits historical photographs showing farming equipment used throughout the 19th century.

Hours of operation: Seven days a week, noon to 5 p.m.

The Knowlton Gallery

115 S. School St., No. 14, Lodi


This art gallery in the heart of Downtown Lodi features art and photographic works primarily focused on California landscapes. From May through June, San Francisco artist Dennis Ziemienski will feature his artworks depicting a small selection of his travels across the country.

Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and by appointment.

Lodi Community Art Center and Gallery

110 W. Pine St., Lodi


The art center in Downtown Lodi features paintings, photos, sculpture and jewelry by Lodi artists. Several classes for adults and children are offered as well.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

McFarland Living History Ranch

8899 Orr Road, Galt


Once occupied by Galt pioneer John McFarland, who gave the town its name, McFarland Ranch currently provides educational activities teaching children about farm life in the late 1800s. The venue also hosts the annual Old Car Show at the end of September.

Hours of operation: By reservation only. School field trips are available.

Rae House Museum

204 Oak Ave., Galt


Built by John Rae in 1868, the house is a restored Queen Anne that contains photographs and artifacts of the early days of Galt.

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday by appointment.

The Serpentarium: A Living Reptile Museum

2379 Maggio Circle, Unit C, Lodi


This two-story museum offers an up close and personal look at more than 50 different species of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and insects in a controlled environment. Along with guided tours and a gift shop, The Serpentarium offers a selection of workshops such as “Naturalistic Terrarium Design,” “Art of Keeping & Breeding Snakes” and “Insect Pinning.”

Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Children’s Museum of Stockton

402 W. Weber Ave., Stockton


Located in downtown Stockton, the Children’s Museum gives kids the chance to run around and explore the many life-sized exhibits. Young ones can jump inside a replica fire truck, police car, ambulance and tractor and let their imaginations lead them on an unforgettable adventure.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Field trips available by appointment.



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