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Children's museums can be just the ticket for family vacations, a rainy day, or just plain fun

The Children's Museum of Boston

THE 80-year-old Children's Museum, which started out with just a glass display of birds, now has an exhibit that develops scientific thinking - while looking like an amusement-park arcade.

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"Brain Games," a Seattle-based nationally touring exhibit here for the summer, contains more than 30 games of strategy, skill, and logic that teach kids about geometry, physics, and mathematical probability. The two-floor exhibit includes life-size chess and checkers; Wing-It Alley, a 40-foot-long tunnel for Frisbee fun; a giant spinning room; skee-ball; jump rope; and shuffleboard.

There's a lot more to do in July beside "Brain Games."

r Nickelodeon's Game Lab: Nickelodeon studio personalities from Orlando, Fla., invite visitors to watch and participate in stunts and games used in Nickelodeon's game shows. (July 7 and 8)

r Eureeka and her dragon, Magellan, make an appearance from Nickelodeon's kid show, "Eureeka's castle." (July 14 and 15)

r POG Milkcaps Tournament: Meet Pogman, win prizes, and show your skills as an expert POG player. (July 28 and 29)

The Children's Museum is housed in a late-19th century brick-and-timber warehouse in Boston's historic Fort Point Channel waterfront district. It often has exhibits with a marine or nautical theme.

"Under the Dock" is a new exhibit featuring Boston's largest lobster. Kids can climb inside a 14-foot lobster, try on sea-creature costumes, play in a dockside puppet theater, and observe tanks of live lobsters, sea squirts, mussels, and more. The exhibit simulates the underwater landscape of Fort Point Channel and educates area youth about the city and seaside ecosystem.

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Museum Wharf, 300 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210; (617) 426-8855


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