Upcoming Events

Halloween All Under One Roof at MPL


Join the AUOR family for a Spooktacular Halloween Extravaganza at Missoula Public Library! Get ready for a hauntingly good time as we transform our library into a Halloween wonderland filled with treats, tricks, and tons of fun activities for all ages. Dress up in your most creative costumes and join us for a day of thrilling adventures and eerie excitement! 

Missoula Public Library:

Enjoy face or hand painting by Ann Karp – 12-4 PM
Location: Level 2 near Families First Learning Lab’s classroom
Enjoy face painting with Ann Karp of Sideways Gaze Art & Sign. 

Delectable Halloween Treats – 1:30-2:30 PM
Location: Demonstration Kitchen
Calling all kids! Join us in the Demonstration Kitchen to create some delectable Halloween treats.

Spooky Story Time – 3:30-4 PM
Location: Imaginarium on Level Two
Make time during the Halloween Festivities to sit and enjoy spooky stories read aloud.

Spooky Pop-up Performance by Curtains Up! Company – 2:30-2:45 PM and 3:00-3:15 PM
Location: Level One
You won’t want to miss this uncanny dance performance by the Curtains Up! Company of On Center Performing Arts! 

MPL MakerSpace and UM Living Lab:

Paranormal Paper Crafts – 12-3 PM
Location: MakerSpace and UM Living Lab
Bring your kids to the Makerspace and the Living Lab for this free, Halloween-themed paper crafting activity. The UM Living Lab will have a Bat Crafts and Bat Facts activity where kids can make a bat ornament and learn all about bats. In the MakerSpace you can use paper shapes cut with the Cricut to make a spooky scene, and craft paper accessories for your costume before you head upstairs to trick-or-treat. No registration required.


Halloween Photo-Op Selfie Snaps – 12:00-4:00 PM
Location: MCAT Studio
MCAT will provide two spooky backdrop options with moody lighting to help you capture your costume in the best Halloween moment!

Graveyard Dance Party – 12:00-4:00 PM
Location: MCAT Studio
Young Kids, Parent and Caregiver can enjoy a Disco Party Monster Mash!

spectrUM Discovery Area:

Discovery Bench Activity: Spooky Science – 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: spectrUM
Join spectrUM for spooky science activities in celebration of Halloween.

Giant Brain Exhibit – 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Level One
Celebrate Halloween with spectrUM by exploring our giant brain. This colossal exhibit has never been shown at the Missoula Public Library, and even includes a tunnel for kids to explore.

Escape Rooms for Kids – 1:00-3:30 PM
Location: Level Two Study Rooms
Celebrate Halloween with spectrUM by trying your hand at one of our many escape rooms. 

Families First Learning Lab

Families First Halloween Bash – 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Cooper Room A/B Level Four
Families First Learning Lab invites all families to come and trick or treat while enjoying child enrichment activities with 25+ exhibits! This event will be a fun, warm, safe space for families to celebrate Halloween. Free family photos too!

Past Events

Think Twice: Recycle and Reuse with Rochelle Martin, Recycling Works MT 

Saturday, April 22, 2023, 12-2pm

Think Twice Event promotional image containing people recycling

Children of all ages invited to celebrate Earth Day with a recyclables sorting game. Rochelle Martin, of Recycling Works MT, explains what items can be recycled, how, and why. Find out what objects in your home can be recycled.  




Air, Wildfire, and Smoke

Thursday, April 13, 2023, 3-6pm (Missoula Public Library, 1st floor)

Air wildfire smoke eventHands-on activities and demos for elementary and middle school kids as they learn about one of the most pressing issues in our state with community experts on wildfire sciences, climate sciences, and air quality. 

Blown Away Learn how wind affects wildfires and smoke. (Alex Lukinbeal, National Weather Service; 3 pm and 4:30 pm in UM Living Lab)

Cleaning Up the Air Watch a "smoke box" and air purification demonstration. (Anna Kiley, University of Montana; 3:30 pm and 5 pm in UM Living Lab)

Inversions Learn about inversions in the Missoula Valley. (Sarah Coefield, Missoula City-County Health Department, and Amy Cilimburg, Climate Smart Missoula; 4 pm and 5:30 pm in UM Living Lab)

What is in the Air? Use air particulate sensors to measure what solids are in the air in different scenarios. (Dr. Lu Hu and Emily Cope, University of Montana; 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm in spectrUM Classroom)

How do wildfires spread? Set up model matchstick forests and watch how wildfires travel from one tree to another! (Courtney Johnson, Missoula Fire Science Lab USFS; 4 pm and 5 pm in spectrUM Classroom)

DIY Air Filter Demo Learn how a DIY box fan and furnace filter effectively filter air in a large-scale smoke box demonstration. (Nick Wethington, spectrUM); 3-6 pm in MakerSpace)

Music from Data Explore how air quality data “sounds” with an interactive exhibit that turns spreadsheets into music! (Nick Wethington, spectrUM; 3-6 pm in MakerSpace)

Air, Wildfire, & Smoke Trivia Pick up and complete our air, wildfire, and smoke trivia sheet to receive a prize! (3 - 6 pm in Marketplace)

Coloring Activity (Environmental Protection Agency; 3 - 6 pm in Marketplace)

Dive Into Deep Ocean Currents- Corinne Bassin, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 1-2pm

Photo of Corinne Bassin

UM Living Lab welcomes Corinne Bassin, data platform manager at Schmidt Ocean Institute, to share with older children and teens about the organization’s ocean explorations aboard the research vessel Falkor and engage them in a hands-on activity on deep ocean currents. 
Corinne has a special interest in developing and designing data visualizations that combine scientific integrity with beautiful user experiences. She enjoys exploring ways to create engaging and informative data stories, especially those centered on earth observation data.



Family Passport Program

Take a trip downtown and get to know all five of the All Under One Roof partners at the Missoula Public Library! Take home a prize when you get 5 unique stamps in your passport during any of our upcoming programs occurring All Under One Roof. Stamps and passports never expire!

The UM Living Lab drop-in activities include:

  • DNA Origami
    Explore the twists, turns, and rules of DNA by creating a 3D origami model.
  • Shared DNA
    How alike are bears, bitterroot, and black widow spiders? Explore the shared DNA of Montana’s flora and fauna.
  • Brain Caps
    What do the different parts of your brain do? Explore the brain's function and structure while you build a brain cap.
  • DNA of Place
    Explore the DNA of place through indigenous art and story.
  • Educational Games + Activities
    Discover a different game or activity each month and play with researchers in the lab.

Dr. Rachel Severson, Associate Professor UM Department of Psychology and Director of UM Living Lab

Wednesday, May 4th at 10am

emerging-technologies-webinar-social-generic.pngDr. Rachel Severson, Director of the UM Living Lab, was a panelist for “Here, There, and Everywhere: Emerging Technologies and the Future of Children," a Children and Screens “Ask the Experts” webinar. 





Explore the Social Brain- Amber Thatcher, UM Department of Psychology

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 4:30-5:30pm

Photo of Amber ThatcherYouth visitors are invited to explore the social brain with Amber Thatcher, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience doctoral student in the UM Department of Psychology. Amber will share about her neuroscience research with degus (Chilean rodent) to understand the neural underpinnings of social behavior and engage older children and teens in a hands-on neuron building activity.

Amber Thatcher is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Montana with a focus on animal behavior. She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from New Mexico State University in 2016, and an M.A. degree in Experimental Psychology from Northern Arizona University in 2018. Amber's current research focuses on developing methods for measuring the formation of new relationships in a species of rodents native to Chili, the degu. She hopes to continue this line of research with other species and work towards understanding the neural underpinnings of relationship formation.  


Grand Opening Celebration

July 14, 2021

The UM Living Lab celebrated the grand opening with a ribbon cutting and hands-on, minds-on activities on 'Seeing Faces + Making Faces.' 

Photo of living lab ribbon cuttingPhoto of Making Faces Activity Photo of child making faces



Photo of children making faces




Visit with Senator Tester

July 8, 2021

Photo of Senator Tester visiting libraryKaetlyn Cordingley (center), UM Experimental Psychology Doctoral Student, and Dr. Rachel Severson (left), UM Living Lab Director, shared about the UM Living Lab with Senator Jon Tester. 





UM Living Lab Opens!

July 1, 2021

rachel_severson_1.jpegWelcome to the UM Living Lab! We invite families and children to participate in research studies, engage in hand-on, minds-on activities, and learn about science!