Arctic Blast Coming To Sugar Sand

Winter in Florida, normally fairly tame, will get a little wilder when the Under the Arctic: Digging in Permafrost exhibit opens at Sugar Sand Park's Science Explorium. 

The interactive exhibit, which opens on January 27, will give an arctic feel to one of Boca Raton's hottest parks.

Arctic permafrost exhibits and videos teach visitors about the earth's past, present, and future - while hinting at solutions to current problems. 

Though permafrost - the permanently frozen layer on or just under the earth's crust -  may seem like a myth or legend from far away in sunny Boca Raton, it's worth noting that permafrost covers nearly a quarter of the northern hemisphere's land masses.

Under the Arctic includes a “tunnel” through the permafrost that's a replica of the original Alaskan permafrost research tunnel. The exhibit allows visitors to walk through the ice and discover what's trapped inside.

The permafrost is constantly changing – and not necessarily in a positive way. Part of the exhibit features videos of native Alaskans telling their stories about how some of these changes are affecting their way of life. Visitors learn how the melting permafrost is making building roads and housing increasingly more difficult.

The exhibit is open to visitors of all ages, but is targeted toward children ages 9-14.

Visitors will see a mammoth tooth up close, along with various other fossils trapped in the ice for thousands of years. They can smell the Ice Age. They will learn about the plants and animals that populated the ancient frozen tundra.

The exhibit runs through May 5. Admission is free.

Under the Arctic is designed and produced by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in conjunction with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an Alaska Native advisory group.

People enjoying the Under the Arctic exhibit

People enjoy the Under the Arctic exhibit, which opens at Sugar Sand Park's Science Explorium on January 27.

This story first appeared in the January 2024 edition of our District Dispatch newsletter. To receive future newsletters via email, enter your email address below, then click "Send Me District Newsletter Updates!"