KALEIDOSCAPE, opened in the outdoor Surprise Garden June 2013. Kaleideum Downtown is the first location in the United States to host a crocheted wonder from renowned artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. Vibrant colors and rich textures engage children and inspire them to climb, swing and experience this innovative exhibit.
Kids love to scramble and crawl over the wavy platforms of the Luckey Climber as their caregivers check in at the Welcome Desk. After exploring the first floor, the climbing adventures continue as kids scale the Beanstalk Climber, leaf by leaf, to the second floor.
The Prop Shop
The Prop Shop opened in April 2017 and features a 1,000 square-foot space set in the “backstage” of a theater where you can create, invent, tinker, explore, and discover. Using real tools and materials, you can design and create your own puppets, costumes, set pieces, and props. The space also includes a theatre-themed toddler area with a small slide and interactives that offer developmentally appropriate experimentation and opportunities for dramatic play.
Filled with child-sized tables and comfortable seating, we encourage you to take a break during your museum visit to snuggle up and enjoy a book with your child. Staff-led story times are a regular feature of this area. Look for the crayon wall mural depicting schools, local landmarks, and storybook characters.
The Enchanted Forest
A forest village of folklore, fantasy, and fairy tales. The exhibit gallery contains over a dozen imaginative play stations including the Three Billy Goats Gruff’s bridge, Forest Babies Nursery, the Three Bears Cabin, and a row boat!
A gallery filled with large-scale alphabet sculptures provides the chance for visitors to explore letters up-close. One of the most beloved letters is “V,” for vet’s office, where young visitors tend to stuffed animals in need of care.
Visitors make predictions and test their hypotheses as they turn knobs to change airflow and send scarves zipping through the tubes of Amazing Airways. See if you can catch the scarves flying through the air!
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory
One of our most beloved exhibits is the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory. This child-sized factory encourages visitors to enjoy cooperative play and discovery as they send doughnuts through the conveyor belt system, collect the finished doughnuts in boxes, and take them to the delivery truck. This exhibit hall also includes a padded Baby Doughnut for our littlest guests to play in while their siblings are making doughnuts.
Food Lion Supermarket
Stop by our very own grocery store to shop for fresh felt fruits and veggies, make a sundae or ice cream cone, try out our ovens, and practice counting at the cash registers. This space also includes comfortable seating for caregivers.
Click here to download information about the role family meals play in raising competent eaters, sponsored by Food Lion and developed with guidance from the Ellyn Satter Institute.
The Art Studio is designed to encourage families to make and explore art together. Supplies and suggested activities are provided daily until 30 minutes before the Museum closes. Join Museum staff for a special Guided Art activity every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm.