Children’s museum a hit over the holidays


January 2nd, 2012

Omaha, NE – The Omaha Children’s Museum has had its hands full over the holidays. But there’s still a lot going on, including a dinosaur exhibit that has a few days left on display. Robyn Wisch took a tour of Omaha’s only interactive, just-for-kids museum.

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Kids participate in a staff-led song at the museum's Creative Arts Center. (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

“So this is our first permanent exhibit area,” Christina Kahler, marketing director at the Omaha Children’s Museum pointed out the first stop on the tour: the Creative Arts Center. Children of all ages lined up on colorful, plastic chairs, seated before tubs of crayons, chalks and loads of other odds and ends.

“We have a recycle art area,” Kahler continued. “And the recycle art is really a fun thing to watch because kids get so creative with all sorts of things that people donate to the museum. I mean there’s everything there from paper towel rolls to butter tubs and things like that that kids repurpose into robots and all sorts of creations.”

One of the museum's most popular exhibits: The Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center, which features a Super Gravitron (its official name). (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

While children worked out their creative muscles, more streamed by, darting around the brightly painted rooms – from one crazily exciting exhibit to the next.

Next up on the tour, a clear favorite: The Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center, where a maze of tubes and tunnels carries small plastic balls as they whiz through the air. It’s an interactive display that’s operated on the ground by push-pulls and levers. Seven-year-old Zane Purdue can probably explain it better.

“You throw a ball in it and it shoots…then it goes over there, you switch that thing it and it goes into that tube… if it ends up over there, it keeps going.”

Zane Purdue, 7, zipped from room to room, exploring the museum's interactive displays. But his favorite: the tubes and tunnels of the Super Gravitron. (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

“They love these gadgets,” explained Zane’s father, Chris Purdue, who brought Zane, along with two nephews and his niece from Iowa. Purdue said the science center is definitely a hit.

“There’s gears and levers and all kinds of things that they can use their hands,” he said. “And then watch the results of their activities. They can work together, they learn to work together and actually play with other kids too.”

The Zooland animals, once set up in the Richman Gordman (Gordmans) department stores, have now found a permanent home at the Omaha Children's Museum. (Photo by Robyn Wisch)

The Children’s Museum also includes an Imagination Playground, a theatrical room where children can watch performances, and put some on of their own. It also has a new permanent exhibit: refurbished zoo animal structures that used to entertain kids in Gordmans department stores are now settled upstairs.

And, of course, there’s Dinosaurs: Dawn of the Ice Age, a temporary exhibit, where a robotic T-Rex greets kids at the entrance. That will be open for just a few more days (it closes Jan. 8), and will give way to a brand exhibit: Construction Zone opening February 4th.

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