ABC57 Road Trip sets sail at the Michigan Maritime Museum

NOW: ABC57 Road Trip sets sail at the Michigan Maritime Museum

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich., --- ABC57's Road Trip series hit the highway again this week, this time heading north to the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, home to preserving the Great Lakes heritage since the 1970’s.

A brisk boat ride along the fresh waters of Lake Michigan is where your immersive journey can begin at the museum.

“It’s [the boat ride] cool, it has a nice view, it’s a fun ride,” said student Lars Diels.

The boat ride is much more than just clear skies and beautiful views as you sail down the third largest Great Lake in North America.

The trip provides an opportunity to learn as you ride in historic vessels, like the original 1941 motor lifeboat, the longest-serving model used by the coast guard and even a movie star, featured in the Disney film, “The Finest Hours.”

“We can get you hands on in those vessels out on the water, whether that's on our replica 1810 tall ship, whether that's on our original 1941 Coast Guard, motor lifeboat, we're getting you up close and personal with Michigan's freshwater heritage,” explained Claire Herhold, the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Museum.

The experience, however, doesn’t just start or stop at the dock: the waterfront museum also features outdoor exhibits with a unique fleet of vessels that you can climb aboard and a brand-new indoor exhibit space.

“Our main exhibit that we have now is the history of Great Lakes, passenger know, massive liners that you may have seen in the early 20th century, going across the Great Lakes, you can actually feel what it's like to step aboard one of them by going through our exhibit full steam ahead,” said Herhold.

The interactive museum is centered around a STEAM education, science, technology, engineering, art and math, providing a learning environment for kids of all ages all year round.

“We can get kids out on a boat, we can get kids in the classroom. But we also, once you're out of school, have activities here too...we have some activities, we have drop-in story time, we have arts and crafts, maker activities, we have STEAM activities to really tie in those science, technology, engineering, art and math lessons,” Herhold explained.

“I want to teach them about something about boats and about how ships are built, why people use boats, different types of boats, because I don’t think it’s something they learn in school or that we learn at home,” added Herman Diels, a parent who brought his sons to the museum.

On top of learning a few new things, it’s safe to say Diels and his three boys all enjoyed the one-of-kind ride at the Michigan Maritime Museum.

“It’s a first time. I think it’s really special, as we come from Europe and we are here as tourists at the lake, and it’s also a Disney boat we heard so it’s really special for us to be on the lake on this old boat.”

The museum has several upcoming events during the summer along with weekly activities for kids.

To learn more or to plan a visit just click here.

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