Museum, history group offer pair of free interactive workshops


The Breakout Box puzzle that will be used in one of the workshops is shown.

The Greater Oneonta Historical Society and Hanford Mills Museum will host two free interactive workshops Friday, Feb. 21 for families starting at 1 p.m.

The workshops will take place at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society at 183 Main St. in Oneonta. 

“It's a set of fun activities that encourages team building and problem solving skills, especially the 'Breakout Box,'" Hanford Mills Education and Curatorial Initiatives Manager Kajsa Harley said. “It's a nice thing to get out of the house and have something to do on a winter day when there's no school.”

The activities — an environmental education game and a "Breakout Box" challenge based on New York State history — require no reservation, Harley said. Families can drop in anytime between 1 and 3 p.m., she said. 

For the "Breakout Box" challenge, families must use their knowledge of state history to solve puzzles which will yield the combinations to open a series of locks on a small box. Potential topics include geography, state symbols and maps, Harley said. 

"It works like an escape room but instead of trying to get out, you're trying to get in," Harley said. 

"Forest as a Habitat" will be a series of interactive games designed to show how the actions of animals, including humans, can affect the forest. Imagining themselves as forest animals, children will take part in a scavenger hunt to seek out the resources these creatures need to live, Harley said. They will learn about what a habitat is and how the living requirements of different animals can vary, she said. 

These activities are already offered to 23 area school districts as part of Hanford Mills' outreach program, Harley said. 

"They are programs that are very hands-on and we thought would work well with families," Harley said. 

For more information, call 607-432-0960 or email

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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