Children’s Museum opens new downtown location
Published: Monday, January 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 23, 2012 19:01
Laughter and squeals filled the air as children and parents awaited the official grand opening of the new Children's Museum of Tacoma on Saturday, January 14. The excitement was tangible as children of all ages tried to wait patiently for the doors of exploration to open and the magic to begin.
The museum offers six different playscapes for children to expand their learning and imagination: Woods, Water, Voyager, Becka's Studio, Invention, and Reflection. As you enter the door you are greeted by "woods," an area designed to foster outdoor play. Children can crawl through tunnels, build forts and play in the tree house. They can discover different textures, play with light in a dark area and pass supplies using a pulley system. This area is large enough for an adult to accompany a small child; however some areas are small and can be restricting.
Moving in further you will find "water," where children can experience water in a number of ways. Connecting tables at different levels allow children to explore running water. Toys such as rubber ducks and ping pong balls are available to demonstrate the movement of water. Smaller basins of still water are designed for younger children to literally get their fingers wet with an introduction to water. And finally an art piece of metal, rock and glass shows water in its falling form as it cascades to a bed of rocks. This area was a hit among the children on opening day. In the center of the museum you will find "Voyager," a vessel just waiting for children to climb aboard and take flight. With props such as different vehicle wheels, gauges and communication devices the possibilities are endless.
In "Becka's Studio" children and parents are encouraged to let their creative side show through the available art supplies. From drawing, to painting and gluing children can create almost anything their hearts desire. Tables and chairs of various sizes allow children of all ages to play and explore through hands-on art.
"Invention" provides children with building materials of all shapes, sizes and form; blocks, boards, fabric, tubes, and more. "Invention" fosters a child's cognitive thinking, such as math and other important skills.
Finally "Reflection," a place for children and parents to wind down and reflect on the experience they just had; a perfect ending to an unforgettable experience.
One very unique aspect to the Children's Museum of Tacoma is their Pay As You Will admittance. This feature allows families to donate any amount they can towards their visit. Donations allow the museum to serve more members of the community. With this in place, no child is turned away because of the inability to pay.
Also available are two different memberships. Membership fees support the Pay As You Will program and offer a variety of incentives to members including member only hours, discounts on services and two-for-one admittance to other museums.
The museum is located at 1501 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is closed on Tuesday. Members can enjoy member only hours Monday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. as well as Friday and Saturday 9 – 10 a.m. For more information visit: www.playtacoma.org