Alexandria is in Rapides Parish in Louisiana. It sits on the south bank of the Red River south of Shreveport and Bossier City. Alexandria began as an outpost for the Spanish. It was known for is unsavory residents. The city was founded by Alexander Fulton and Thomas Harris Maddox. In 1785 they received a land grant from Spain. In 1805 they finally decided to lay a grid for the town, naming it after Alexander. In 1818 the town was incorporated. The city has numerous annual events such as Mardi Gras, Cenlabration and RiverFest. There are museums such as the Alexandria Museum of Art and the Louisiana History Museum. A notable museum in Alexandria is the TREE House. It is a children's museum with the goal to help residents and visitors learn.
The museum offers hands on exhibits and innovative learning programs for children. Education, family, and discovery are all part of the design for the museum. Children aged 4 to 12 will get the most out of the museum experience. The museum was started in 1998 by parents who wanted a museum their children could enjoy. By seeking funding through the government the parents were able to build the museum. It took two years for it to become open. Several schools, day cares, and other groups sought the museum. They had 7,000 visitors in one year, which has since increased. The building is 7800 square feet right now, but there are plans to add on 1528 square feet for more exhibits.
During the summer months the museum has a number of programs for children. There are camps throughout the summer as well as kite building exercises, science day, etc. The exhibits include a Whisper Tube which is where children can whisper into a tube to experience how sound travels. The Cabrini Clinic is all about a doctor's office in which lab coats, x- rays, and medical tools are on display.
The giant pin screen helps children learn anatomy, by looking at body parts on the screen. The Antique fire truck allows children to climb aboard, playing with levels and the mechanics of the truck. Shadow room is a place to create different shadows. The Rockwell Railroad display teaches the history of the railroad, how it helped expand trade in Louisiana, and what is happening with it today. Bernoulli Blower shows the principle of Bernoulli's concept when it comes to flying. It shows how airplanes really work. The last exhibit is the touch screen art easel where students and visitors are allowed to finger paint.
The TREE House museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 3pm. It is also open Saturday until four pm. The museum is not open Sundays, Mondays or major holidays. Admission is quite inexpensive at $3.50 for children and adults. Children who are under 2 can enter the museum for free. Memberships do exist for those interested. Any child under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. The TREE House is about education and spending time with children to help them learn.