This Saturday, if you go to turn on the television for your kids, don’t be surprised if you can’t flip to their favorite episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer or Fairly Odd Parents. In honor of Nickelodeon’s ninth annual Worldwide Day of Play, the network is “going dark” as a way to encourage kids to get out and get active. To show their support, the Minnesota Children’s Museum is offering a number of activities that will get kids moving and learning. What better place is there to celebrate than a museum that specializes in play?
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Minnesota Children’s Museum
Between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., kids can take part in brain-boosting activities that are a part of the United in Big Healthy Fun! program. Throw on a cowboy hat, attend a hoedown and practice your do-si-do, get moving during a prehistoric DinoStomp, or dance to the music of a Circular Symphony while hula hopping.
For even more fun, kids can be transported to a magical place and time at the museum’s newest exhibit, The Amazing Castle, which also opens Saturday. Returning to the museum after seven years, the exhibit lets kids engage in role-playing, choosing to become lords, ladies, castle villagers or court jesters. Work with the tailor or carpenter in the royal workshops, visit the tower and wake Herald the sleeping dragon, build a fortress out of stone blocks, or plant vegetables and gather eggs before cooking up a royal meal.
While at the museum, you won’t want to miss your last chance to experience the Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! exhibit, which closes Oct. 7. Kids will go bananas as they’re transported to the neighborhood that Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat call home. While you get to know the beloved characters from the book and television series, kids will be able to learn like George through direct experience and problem solving. Climb into the rocket from George’s space adventure, visit the sidewalk produce stand, take part in engineering activities at the farm, or play with wheels and pulleys at the construction site. Along the way, take a seat at the benches placed throughout the exhibit and dive into your favorite Curious George book.
So turn off the television, get moving, get curious, and play!
Admission: $9.50 ages one and older; younger than one and members free. Hours: Tue.-Thu. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.