I know, it seems tough sometimes to keep up with Kidzu. They were here, then they were there, and they have big plans (which MiCHill fully supports). Jay our Daring Dad shared Kidzu’s press release at this post here so you can read more about the vision of the museum. I had the opportunity to visit the new Kidzu Children’s Museum Launch Pad in University Mall. I hope it is here for awhile. This place is gorgeous.
Right off, let me say what my complaint is. My complaint is that this place is bigger! You would think that would be an odd complaint to make but when you have to watch 2 kids at once, you can lose track of them easier in this place (a la Marbles).
Now let me say what I love. This place is bigger! It is airy, open, modern and contemporary, new with the old favorites, and much easier to spend considerable time in.
Play begins at the front desk with hopscotch and a honeycomb wall. There is now a nice holding area for bags, strollers, coats, and rain jackets (hooray!).
The first thing the kids see upon entering? The Gravitron. Thank the powers that be because that is all my boys want to play with.
After that there is a special area which currently houses a really great Clifford exhibit. There are so many tactile things for kids to do here. This also happens to be the most popular spot in the building.
Moving back further The Makery is the stuff of Pinterest dreams. This area for crafts and art is HUGE and inspirational.
Keep going and there is a room closed off to the rest of the museum that is the story nook. (Remember when the Chapel Hill Public Library was in this space and had their story room? Same space, looks totally different.) The story nook is magical although it is rather small so can get crowded. They have regularly scheduled storytimes here but we weren’t early enough to get a spot in the room.
There isn’t really a specified tiny tots area as there were at the other Kidzu locations but the Story Nook seemed to be perfect for toddlers with lots of puzzles, cozy cushions, and “barricaded” from the rest of the place.
Other areas in the new Launch Pad to know about? Tables and chairs in the back for eating snacks. A huge space for special events (check out their schedule online but thanks to the increase in real estate they now offer more classes like kids yoga). When special events are not being held the space has all the building blocks and gross motor skills toys. Note that if your child really looks forward to the blocks, trucks, and cars, then you might want to make sure you go when that room is open.
It is funny how Kidzu went from being in small spaces that felt crowded and cramped to a huge, open, airy play area. In fact, it almost feels now like they need more exhibits and more learning activities for kids to fill up all of their gorgeous space!
Kudos to Kidzu for such a wonderful, thoughtfully planned, and well executed Launch Pad.
Kidzu Children’s Museum “Launch Pad”
10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday
1 pm – 5 pm Sunday (free on Sunday)
Regular admission: $5.50 for everyone over 12 months