When planning a visit to a new destination, we try to pack our schedule really full. This allows us to write tons of articles on each city, so that you will have more options when planning your own vacation. Even with a full slate of stops planned, we seem to still squeeze in one more unexpected treasure. During a luncheon with the staff at Visit Springfield, we found out about a new kids museum that was located in the downtown area. Since we know that many of our readers will be traveling with family, a visit to find out how to Get Healthy at Kidzeum was needed.
We want to thank Visit Springfield and Kidzeum for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
One Big Body
When we arrived at Kidzeum, we immediately went into kid mode. We have discovered that it is okay to let go of our proper adult outward appearance and just enjoy the moment. This three-story educational museum is designed to make learning fun. As soon as we walked through the entrance, we noticed the huge model that filled the atrium. This exhibit is designed to show healthy choices and their effects on our body. Each floor holds a portion of the body that visitors can explore. The feet and legs are a large climbing area, which we chose to bypass for today. We are betting it’s quite popular with the kids.
Tickle Your Fancy
It seemed that the best place to start was the top, so up we climbed to the 3rd floor. Here we found the head, which includes a series of interactive displays. An over-sized feather can be waved in front of the model’s nose to elicit a sneeze. We thought this was pretty funny, but little did we know that things were about to get real. Time to move to the “behind the scenes” exhibits.
Get Your Boogie On
We made our way behind the huge head and located a group of smaller displays. Each of these focused on specific organs in the human head. A big tongue had buttons placed at various spots that noted what each set of taste buds were used to identify. If you check out our Springfield, Illinois Instagram Highlight reel you will see a clip about it. (You can find it here.) This place is a real hit with the kids and I have to admit I found it to be pretty cool, as well. Besides the booger barn shown above, there are also displays on other parts of the head. Each display is designed to educate visitors about the purpose of the body parts. This makes learning fun.
This Too Shall Pass
Moving down to the second floor, brought us to the midsection of the body. Here we found more exhibits, but these were focused on the internal organs. You can find more interactive activities, like giving a shot to the arm. While Crystal busied herself with that display, I located something a little more exciting. Nearby, visitors can explore the digestive system in a close up manner. Now it may not be exactly to scale, but it’s still kind of funny. As you crawl through the bowels of the exhibit, (Yeah, that was pretty bad.) there are informational panels that explain the way this part of the body works.
Since we are on the subject of digestion, this is a good point to show some of the other exhibits that can help you get healthy at Kidzeum. The human body isn’t the only display in the building. The whole place is designed to teach kids health and wellness, but that’s not all. They also deal with environmental and global issues.
We all know that it’s important to eat healthy, but sometimes it’s confusing what that means. Learning to get healthy at Kidzeum is as easy as playing with the displays. A good example is this exhibit that focuses on showing how much sugar can be found in everyday food and drink items.
To Market, To Market
With this new found knowledge under our belt, it was time to look for healthier choices. The Healthy Earth exhibit is a good place for kids to find good eating options. It includes a variety of interactive displays that keep kids of all ages engaged. Now we must warn you at this point that there is one BIG rule that must be noted. We had to get special permission to tour the museum, since adults need to be accompanied by a kid. Of course, the rule works both ways, so all kids need an adult, as well.
Home Grown Education
Well, we’ve spent plenty of time on the human body, so let’s move on to our environment. These days things around the home can be a mystery to kids. It’s not every day that we get a peek behind the walls, to see the inner workings of our home. Kidzeum has a model home that teaches kids about the things we all take for granted everyday.
Shed Some Light
Pulling back the wallboard, visitors can see how homes are constructed and learn about things like various styles of insulation. Kids can take a turn at being a plumber, while connecting hot and cold water pipes. All along the way, informational signs tell how parts work together to supply our household needs.
Just like other areas of Kidzeum, there are interactive exhibits in this section. One that I decided to take a spin at is designed to show how much power is needed to light various types of bulbs. It’s a good way to teach the importance of changing over to LED lightbulbs to save energy and lower your electricity bill. It also helps us lower our carbon footprint, which will help our planet.
Weather Or Not
Since we know that our lifestyles can affect the environment, it only makes sense that Kidzeum would have an exhibit that gives visitors a chance to talk about the weather. Have you ever wanted to be a weather reporter? Here you get a chance to stand up and do your own version of the evening nightcast. What weather will you report? Storms? Snow? Maybe just a beautiful sunny day.
Will You Get Healthy at Kidzeum?
This children’s museum has so much more to see, but we were out of time. This is one bad thing about squeezing in extra stops. Sometimes, we don’t have time to truly enjoy them. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to plan your visit, so that you will have plenty of time to see and do everything. While admission requires a mix of adults and kids for entry, that doesn’t mean you have to act like an adult. This is the perfect type of place to cut loose and have a great time. Would you crawl your way through the intestines or check out that nose?