Innovators, inventors, creators of all types now have a home in Gainesville.
The Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention is nestled in Gainesville’s pristine Depot Park. It’s a monument to inventor Dr. James Robert Cade and a hub of knowledge for future innovators—and has been bustling with guests since its opening in May.
At the Cade, the philosophy is simple: think, meet, be. The goal is to inspire visitors to think creatively about science, introduce them to real-life innovators and provide hands-on activities to teach them how inventors bring ideas to life.
“We really encourage people to bring their imagination, be creative and come with an open mind,” says Ashley Bryant, marketing and communications manager for the museum.
A visit to the museum, including playing in the labs and taking in all of the sights, can take from one to three hours. Most of their offerings are best suited for children ages 5 and older.
The museum’s only permanent exhibit is The Sweat Solution, dedicated to its namesake, Dr. James Robert Cade. It interactively showcases the history of his invention, Gatorade, and how it saved lives and changed the sports industry.
Its second exhibit rotates about every six months. Currently, the Cade is hosting the Robot Zoo, which allows visitors to learn about the biomechanics of real animals’ bodies by observing their robot counterparts.
The Cade also has two hands-on activity labs—The Creativity Lab and The Fab Lab. Although the Fab Lab is fabulous, it’s actually for fabrication using 3-D printers, laser cutters, soldering tools and more to build robots, rockets and other prototypes.
The Creativity Lab hosts classes based on local inventors’ creations. Each Saturday, the museum hosts a Meet at the Cade event, hosting an inventor or innovator to speak with guests one on one about their work.
“Whatever they’re bringing to the table that day, we pull that science out and incorporate it into hands-on activities throughout the museum. If you walk into the rotunda on a Saturday and see an inventor, elements of their work are showcased in lab experiments in the Creativity Lab activities and the Fab Lab. You could be doing welding one week and coding the next.”
Adult admission is $12.50, children ages 5 to 17 cost $7.50 and children 4 years or younger get in free. Seniors and college students with ID get in for $10. Visit the Cade Museum’s website for a calendar of upcoming events and to purchase tickets.
Learn more › Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention › 811 N Main St., Gainesville › (352) 371-8001 › cademuseum.org › Monday-Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 1-5pm