Niagara Gazette

Features

July 13, 2006

Rochester museum repoens after $37 million expansion

s of Friday, it’s double your fun at the Strong National Museum of Play.

Literally.

The museum will have a grand reopening event Friday through Sunday, celebrating its $37 million expansion, which has nearly doubled the size of the facility.

Susan Trien, Strong director of public relations, said the grand opening festivities will feature a variety of activities to introduce guests to the museum’s new features.

“We’re going to have storybook character walking around, entertainers ... there’s a harp player who’s going to be playing ‘fairy-tale-type’ music by the Fairy Tale Forest,” she said. “I think it should be a very wonderful, exciting day. There will be a lot of things to explore, to try and to do.”

Strong already is the second largest children’s museum in the nation. The expansion will add the Dancing Wing Butterfly Garden, a 12,000-square-foot Reading Adventureland, the Field of Play exhibit and a revamped, expanded National Toy Hall of Fame.

The museum also includes other permanent exhibits, such as the “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street” exhibit, the Super Kids Market, Kid to Kid, Kid Lab and more.

However, the emphasis this weekend will be on the new exhibits, which include:

n Reading Adventureland, which looks like a giant pop-up book, features five sections: Adventure Island, the Upside-Down Nonsense House, Mystery Mansion, Fairy Tale Forest and the Wizard’s Workshop, Trien said.

Each area includes interactive settings and props to draw visitors into its type of literature. For example, in the Mystery Mansion, children can step behind a secret bookcase to “haunt” the house with scary sound effects.

n The Field of Play is an original exhibit on the importance of play, Trien said.

The exhibit features a multimedia presentation about play, followed by activities including a giant walk-through kaleidoscope, a climbing wall, a “topsy-turvy” house and a Jellyfish Jungle — an “aquatic-looking” area tailored to toddlers with soft surfaces and things to investigate, Trien said.

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