Monday, August 10, 2009

Johnson County History Museum - Kidscape Exhibit

Link and Address:

Museum Information:
10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00-4:30 p.m.
6305 Lackman Road - Map
Shawnee, KS 66217
ph: 913.715.2550

Cost: Free
Our Experience:
I had the kidscape exhibit on my summer activity list for a while now. I took the wondertwins (almost five years old) along with me for our adventure. We arrived around 10:30. The parking lot was pretty small. The first thing I noticed was three KinderCare buses. Day cares, camps and other large groups of children have every right to go to places like this but I wish they would go on days when I was not there.
The kidscape area reminds me of an exhibit at Crown Center a couple of years ago. This “community” of colorful plywood tot size buildings includes a hospital, theater, library, putting green, magnetic fishing etc. Nothing is totally amazing but collectively it is pretty neat. The theater has a backstage where kids can try on costumes and also play with the lights. The small stage has red velvet curtains. There are four or five theater type seats for the audience to watch the kids put on their “shows”.
Dads heed this warning. The door ways are low but are of inconsistent heights. I saw a couple of SAHMs take some blunt trauma to the head. I thought the one was going to pass out.
The kinder camps kids were actually well behaved but their sheer numbers made my kids have a little less fun while they were there. Once they moved out, the wondertwins activated their happy adventurous little selfs. We stayed for two hours and I got protests when we needed to depart for lunch.
Also in the building is the history museum. This has some exhibits for kids. Including a kid size old time house with kitchen and chicken coop. For some reason the wondertwins really loved this thing. I quickly read a little history of JoCo while they busied themselves and learned that in the post WWII era Prarie Village was finishing a new house a day. And that much of JoCo was developed to help support the railroad. There was much fuss about the Hannibal bridge in KC. Hannibal is actually on the other side of the state from KC. So I don’t know where they got the name. I traveled through Hannibal and over a bridge many times to get to my grandparents houses. One memorable summer evening, snow plows were out to plow off the junebugs that covered the bridge. I digress.
Free Kidscape exhibit is open until early next year. I would recommend this and I would go again. I think the 1950s electric house is also at this property but I am not sure and did not check it out.
There is a park within sight of the museum. The playground looked fine. Nothing huge but this could be a picnic lunch option. I failed to notice if they had picnic tables.

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