But this year, the sand-sculpture competition and beach party also will provide a sneak preview of the museums new location. The three-day event will take place on the grounds of the new site, set to open in November.
We will have the roll-up doors open so that families can peek into the new museum, said museum director Patty Belmonte.
Among the new exhibits visitors will glimpse is a 70-foot climbing structure that invites children on a journey from the bay at low tide to an eagles aerie high above, with a slide letting them follow the path of stormwater into Puget Sound.
The kids will start in the tidepool area and then climb through various habitats, Belmonte said.
While were speaking, theyre installing the structural support for our very large stair-climber and slide, she said last Friday. Massive beams are being hoisted into place today and next week before the event.
The structure is the centerpiece of the new museum and will be a focal point at Sand in the City, too. Every year, in addition to the sand sculpture competition that pits teams from local businesses, schools and nonprofits against one another, a team of master sculptors works on an elaborate project throughout the weekend. This year, the sculptors will give visitors yet another way to experience the climbing structure.
Theyre going to replicate parts of the two-story climber, Belmonte said. Theyre going to do their own interpretation.
Visitors also will see the cargo ship thats another of the museums exhibits and the giant cedar tree that will stand in the lobby.
While the climbing structure inside the museum wont involve any actual water, kids will have a chance to get wet at East Bay Public Plaza, which opened earlier this month.
Just outside the museum is a bubbling stream of reclaimed water that invites wading and exploration of the cycle of water, from groundwater entering the stream to reclaimed water being put to use.
That takes care of the water part of this community beach party and for the sand, therell be the master sculptors massive effort; 14 sculptures built by local teams, each working with an architect; and a giant sandbox where event visitors can do it themselves.
The number of teams participating this year is close to the record high of 15, Belmonte said. Theres been a lot of interest in the entire project, I think in part because its over at the new museum.
Besides the sand, the event offers a variety of activities, some organized by the museum and others offered by community groups.
Among the activities: a tide-pool touch tank, face painting, bubble blowing and an opportunity to make and race cars with golf-ball wheels. Kids can create fliers to go in our wind tunnel, said Anna Sayre, the museums education manager.
We have a global village, and well be doing activities from different cultures around a birthday-party theme, since its our 25th birthday this year, she said.
Visitors also will have the opportunity to be part of the new museum. Well be doing a collaborative art project in our art studio Saturday and Sunday, Sayre said. Well display that project in the new facility later.