Jan. 9, 2012 –
Abigail Lawver; Exit 133
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma has settled into its new home at 15th and Pacific, and will be celebrating with a Grand Opening this Saturday, January 14th. Given that we aren’t exactly the museum’s target audience, we decided to bring in a writer in a more appropriate demographic category. Our guest reporter, Abigail Lawver, got a sneak peek at the new museum this weekend, and let us in on the experience...
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma has always been a fun family art stop for locals and tourists. They have moved into a new location in the Museum District in Downtown Tacoma.
The spot is quite interesting. The artwork cannot be seen anywhere else. The space is big, full of many interactive, unique art pieces. The Museum has teamed with local artists to make this a very interesting experience for all ages to enjoy.
Thanks to a successful $1 million We Play campaign, admission to the museum is free, so everyone can experience the fun!
The lobby has “Cafe Play” which has a coffee stand run by Satellite Coffee. The lobby is designed to give the adults a “false sense of control,” said Tanya Andrews, the Executive Director of the Children’s Museum. The colors, lockers and stroller parking have soothing, modern hues to give it a calming feel. But once inside the museum, the children are in control.
The rules for play at are simple: Respect yourself, respect others and respect the museum. There is quite an array of attractions: Woods, Water, and The Voyager. The exhibits use as many natural materials (such as wood, water and metal) as possible, and limited the use of plastic. All of the structures are very safe and stable.
The first area features wood. There is a tree fort and a magic fruit tree with magic fruit made by Grant Elementary School students. Throughout the exhibit, there are little dolls to play with, a really cool bridge and a climbing place that can only be considered awesome!
Next to the wood area is a cascading waterfall with levers and knobs to control the flow and direction of the water. Kids can experience the running water and play with it. There are props to divert the water, props to float in the water (including rubber duckies!).
The giant boat-like Voyager lets visitors’ imaginations soar! Phones connect explorers below deck to those above. And two stations allow kids to pedal away to operate the Voyager’s wings, or engines. There’s even a bucket to move props from upper to lower deck.
“It’s fun. My favorite part was the Voyager,” said Eddie Lawver, age 9, about the exhibits. “I think it’s good that you can get in for free because everyone can experience the art.”
Finally, there is an art studio where we can make our own art! One area lets visitors make postcards that they can mail back to the museum, where they can become part of the art room display. And there’s a neat table with coco bean seed shells that smell great, and can be scooped into bowls and other containers.
“The Children’s Museum has moved to a very quaint space. As an 11-year-old, the museum is a fun, educational learning experience for all to enjoy,” said Abigail Lawver (well, that’s me!).
The official museum opening is Saturday, January 14 with a special ribbon cutting by Mayor Marilyn Strickland at 10:45, followed by public play and exploration from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.