Children will learn while playing at castle exhibit
The latest traveling exhibit coming to the Belt Branch Upper Story will transport children and families to a magical place and time – inside a castle’s stone walls where a peaceful community exists and everyone has a special job to do.
Opening Friday, Sept. 22, and continuing through Jan. 5, 2018, The Amazing Castle™ is designed for families and school groups with children ages 2 to 8 years old but can be enjoyed by all ages.
The free exhibit will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1-5 p.m. Sundays in the Upper Story, 1906A N. Belt, which is upstairs from the Belt Branch. A grand opening is planned for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 22, and other special programs are being planned in conjunction with the exhibit.
“We are happy to present this early-learning experience for our community and think children and families will be delighted with it,” Rolling Hills Library Director Michelle Mears said. “It also will be a great learning experience that day-care centers and schools can visit.”
The exhibit features eight themed areas where children can don costumes and engage in role-playing by becoming lords and ladies, villagers and even a court jester. Visitors can try their hands in royal workshops where a blacksmith, tailor, gardener, cook and others work and visit a tower where a sleeping dragon resides.
Upon entering the castle, visitors will find graphic panels that introduce Lord Ben and Lady Evolent and the castle community. A large book that tells the castle’s story is nearby for visitors to read.
Children can play with a castle-inspired dollhouse and build their own fortress out of “stone” blocks. Friends and family can take a seat at the royal table in the Great Hall while children prepare a meal using food from the royal pantry and garden. Then they can become castle entertainers in the royal puppet theater and dress up in costumes to model in a distorted mirror.
Before they leave, children can try to wake Herald the Dragon, who has important announcements to make but keeps falling asleep.
No matter if they visit once or many times, each trip through The Amazing Castle™ will be a unique learning experience. The exhibit was created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum with funding from Curtis and Marjorie Nelson and The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation.