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Grown-ups kid around at OMSI After Dark

by: David F. Ashton Merisa Whide envisions herself blasting off into outer space, as she snuggles into the space capsule display.

On the last Wednesday evening of every month, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the exhibit halls are buzzing with activity - yet there's not a child anywhere to be seen.

'We call it 'OMSI After Dark',' explains OMSI event planner Andrea Middleton.

'We started this about 2½ years ago,' Middleton added, 'opening our doors for adults, 21 and over, from 6 until 10 pm one night a month. They can check out the museum, have some beer and wine, and enjoy special activities and special performances with great energy, in a fun environment - with no kids around.'

The April edition of this event, entitled 'Come to Your Senses', focused on the five human senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

On stage, comedic magician Adam the Great dazzled folks with a performance he called 'Sight and Perception', asking, 'Even though you see it - can you really believe it?''

Guest speakers and museum educators led attendees through a variety of experiments based on their current exhibits, and special installations. For example, in the Turbine Room, people got to taste the 'Miracle Berry', which suppresses the sour receptors on your tongue, making sour taste sweet.

'OMSI is Portland's premiere family attraction,' said Middleton. 'But for adults without kids, this particular evening is always a lot of fun.'