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KidCity Museum

Middletown, Connecticut

kitcity museum screenprint

My friend and I recently took her 2-year-old daughter to Kidcity and it far exceeded our expectations. We both visualized it as a great open indoor playscape.

Instead, the buildings are divided in a series of rooms, each with a theme and multiple activities. The original circa-1835 building, formerly a nunnery, has been converted in a children's paradise. Attached is a new building, which basically doubles the size of Kidcity, adding 3 large play areas and an elevator. Several rooms were being rebuilt into new exhibits during our visit as the museum is constantly evolving, so call or check the website for the most current list.

Every themed room contains a myriad of activities. Far from being boring for adults, many of the crawl-spaces and exhibits encourage mom and dad to join the fun.

We spent about 3 hours there and felt like we hadn’t truly sampled everything, even though we had spent time in every room. The rooms are decorated with trompe l'oeil wall and ceiling paintings, which incorporate the original features of the room, and also sculptures which blend into the walls and bring them to life.

The absolute most fun we had was writing with light on the walls in the Space Age Road trip exhibit. Pens with lighted tips hang from various heights, enabling children and adults to cover the special white walls with glowing graffiti, which fades over the next few minutes, leaving the area clear for someone else's fleeting masterpiece. Also in that room we enjoyed the giant "Light Brite"—where the Lucite light pegs are the size of an adult hand.

The Ship room enables young sailors to raise and lower a sail, climb up to the lookout tower, steer with a great big wheel and even "walk the plank.”

The Farm's wall paintings feature apple trees that go up and across the ceiling and bulge out in sculpture-form. Kids can play in a barn with a working dumbwaiter of rope and baskets, ferrying fake apples up and down into the loft.

Next to the Farm is Main Street, with a diner (featuring real accoutrements from an old diner), a laundry, a grocer; store, a post office, a car, and a model railroad. The grocery store is full of plastic fruits, fish and bagels which can be placed in baskets, weighed, counted, sorted or anything else the child's imagination can think of.

The Musical Planet room was also a lot of fun. Almost everything in the room is a musical instrument of some type, even the walls. The room also contains a rope bridge, monkey bars and a great slide. The see-saw is actually a giant rain stick, and the beads inside slide musically as the see-saw goes up and down.

The Video Theater is fabulous. Puppets, costumes, a dressing room, a stage and real theater seats would be good enough, but Kidcity added a pair of video cameras controlled by a series of buttons. The cameras can be zoomed and panned, and the child (or adult) can choose which camera's feed is shown on the monitors.

Tucked away in a corner is the Reading Room, a quiet area with a large window. The seat is a giant hairbrush, and there's also a loft to climb into, with a space underneath to crawl around in. The walls are lined with framed pictures from old books, and a few dozen books encourage quiet reading. We took some quiet time to read aloud a sweet little book about a family adopting a puppy.

In the basement of the newer building, Kidcity constructed a vast area for children under three, the Sea Caves. This is a socks-only space (they even provide socks in many sizes, and cubbies for your shoes), fantastically painted like an underwater fantasy. lt's a safe space for very little ones to crawl and play.

On the top floor of the new building (the Space Age Roadtrip is the ground floor), is the Cornfield, a temporary exhibit set up like a corn maze with something different in ever; niche. A large model-train setup in one corner has viewing tubes where children can view the trains from within the layout. Next to this, they can "ascend" in a hot air balloon to look over the trains from above. There is a classroom with a magnetic chalkboards covered with words, letters and numbers, a room full of blocks for building, a kitchen with lighted tables and an endless supply of paper and colored pencils for drawing (and even two old refrigerators for posting the finished drawings) and more.

The recommended ages of children to visit and enjoy Kidcity Museum is 1-8 years old. Plan to be there several hours. Park in the rear; some free spots available and some with parking meters. No restaurant available onsite, but KidCity is very close to many fine restaurants nearby (some within walking distance).

(c) 2007 Some information may be out of date.

All material on this site is copyright (c) by Gevera Bert Piedmont except where noted. All rights reserved. Contact me for permission to republish. Information on this site is for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy! })i({

Page created: 19-Kankin 8-Imix (6 January 2014)
Page modified: 19-Kankin 8-Imix (6 January 2014)