Museum-wide Theme

Ebb & Flow: Waves of Innovation

Theme opening May 9, 2024

This summer, join the Cade in a celebration of the little molecule that changed everything! From a refreshing beverage to a tidal wave, water holds the key to life itself. It can literally move mountains, save lives, and allow the tiniest seeds to grow into the mightiest rainforests. Sail the high seas to uncover ocean-saving inventions, explore water’s shape-shifting abilities, and get ready to dive into activities that will blow you out of the water! 

During this theme, you can earn the following Inventivity Badges:

  • Fluid Dynamics – May 9 – June 16
  • State of Matter – June 20 – July 28
  • The Atmosphere – August 1 – September 15
Museum Map

Turning Tides: Save the Ocean Through Invention!

Opening May 9, 2024

We’re staying green and going blue. The ocean blankets our planet, covering a staggering 70% of its surface. As humanity brainstorms ways to keep our home-sweet-home happy and healthy, visionaries are no longer looking to the stars, but to the sea for solutions. Embark on a journey through inventions that are fostering a planetary partnership towards a greener future and bluer planet. 

Traveling Exhibit

Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention!

Opening May 19, 2024 (Member-only Preview on May 18, 2024)

Created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Heirs of Rube Goldberg, the exhibition showcases Pulitzer Prize winning humorist and inventor Rube Goldberg’s iconic contraptions and celebrates his humorous storytelling and inventive cartoons.  

Inspired by Rube’s original illustrations, the exhibit contains a collection of new 3D, life-size machines and hands-on, interactive components that connect Rube’s iconic cartoon contraptions to the way things work in the physical world. These experiences provide insight into the legacy of Rube Goldberg and how classic engineering principles can be reimagined as entry points for deeper exploration of STEAM concepts for 21st century learning.  

Visitors can activate and create crazy chain-reaction contraptions that use everyday objects to complete simple tasks in the most overcomplicated, inefficient and hilarious ways possible! Rube Goldberg machines are many things, but they aren’t perfect. Find the fun in failure as you step into the role of illustrator, storyteller and inventor.

You’ll find these things and more in the exhibit:  

  • Move balls and ramps to trigger chain reaction machines in Wall Machines, then figure out how they work by resetting each part. 
  • Be inspired by Rube Goldberg’s drawing techniques to create your own hilarious cartoon in the Art Studio and then see how it looks at the Revolvometer. 
  • Pull ropes to start a series of musical chain reactions in the large-scale sound animation Music Machine. 
  • Step into one of Rube’s iconic wearables, “Self-Operating Napkin”®, for a one-of-a-kind photo op.   
Museum Map

Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers

June 8, 2024 — October 20, 2024

This exhibit explores the joys, pains, and creative awakenings that Gainesville native Tom Petty experienced while pouring his soul into his second solo studio album, Wildflowers (1994). Featuring artifacts previously on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the exhibit allows guests to listen to first-hand accounts from Tom and the Wildflowers team about the album’s spirited creation.

Timed-Entry Ticket

Permanent Exhibits

The Sweat Solution

Gatorade from concept to commercialization and beyond…​The Sweat Solution provides a summary answer to that delicate but necessary question posed in 1965, “Why don’t football players ever urinate during a game?” The exhibit will showcase the invention of Gatorade, the lives saved because of its science, the industries that emerged from its invention, and its incredible global impact.

At First Flush

At First Flush will tell you the story of toilets, soaps, and Thomas Crapper. Find out how astronauts use the restroom, how toilets crowned the most powerful cities, and who used the first flushable toilet (and loved it).

Located in the Cade Museum’s restrooms.

Mothers of Invention

Everyone says that necessity is the mother of invention, but at the Cade, we see inventions born from all of these Mothers of Invention: Necessity, Curiosity, Imagination, Iteration, and Serendipity. Around Rotunda, see examples of inventors who exemplify these concepts. Click the button below to read more about the exhibit and listen to the audio tour.

Located along the Cade Museum’s second floor rotunda.

Audio Tour Available​

Plan Your Visit

Are you ready to spark your own creativity? Find out our hours, admissions, and further visitor information below.

Plan Your Visit