A New Cradle of Creativity - 11/22/13
For any parent who has enjoyed all that the Austin Children's Museum has offered in the past, get ready to be blown away by the 2.0 version. The Thinkery, or new Austin Children's Museum, is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor. Immediately upon arrival, you are struck by the clean modern lines, larger space, and 30 foot tall rope-net climbing structure that looks like something out of a Mad Max movie.
Inside, a new adventure waits at every turn. A video screen located near the entry can capture the image of your child, and if you choose, immediately add it to digital wall mosaics displaying the pictures of all the children playing around the museum. Science and art spring to life in each of the stations spread out across 2 floors. Kids race from exhibit to exhibit, to take part in a hands-on learning experience. Sometimes its the parents who are holding them back because they want their turn! You can build an airplane and launch it by dropping a bowling ball from a dozen feet in the air. You can then fine tune your design and see if you can beat your record.
Everywhere you look you can paint, pour, cut, color, create,climb or jump. There is even one station where kids can create their own stop motion film. Using various blocks and figurines, you take a picture, move them slightly, take another picture, and so on, until you have completely created your own unique scene. The computer then strings all the pictures together to create a movie, which can then be uploaded to YouTube to share with family and friends!
The water station is a huge hit ... almost as huge a hit as the 3 high powered hand dryers installed next to it to dry off your kids when they are done. Kids are able to use water to make different musical sounds. Cover up a water jet and it makes a certain note. Everyone is guaranteed to leave the water area soaked and with a smile. There is not one inch of the museum that disappoints. It's the kind of place where new discoveries are made each time you visit.
As a parent, I plan on spending a lot of time here, not just because my kids will be begging me to go, but because I want to see more. I want to see them light up when they begin to grasp concepts they once couldn't explain. The Thinkery brings out the kid in all of us, and makes learning fun. I just hope I have my chance to make it to the top of the giant rope structure!
Thinkery opens December 7th.
For more information, visit: http://thinkeryaustin.org/