At 2,000 square feet, the museum is compact, but its three main exhibit areas provide more than enough activities for busy kids.
The fun begins in the museum's largest exhibit room, which houses a miniature grocery store (complete with cash register, scale, and almost every food item you can imagine) and a kitchen. Your kids can make a list, purchase their groceries and then cook up their very own meal. Should anyone get a tummy ache, the mock doctor's office is just down the hall; should anyone shoplift or not bring their best manners to the table, the museum's police headquarters and jail cell is located just upstairs in a loft area. Kids can mail letters at the post office, land an airplane, visit the library and climb down a clock tower all in this main room.
Just across the hall is a magical performance area. Children can put on their own puppet shows at the Star City Theatre, they can play dress-up and romp on the museum's stage, or they can forecast the weather at the museum's news broadcast area.
Around the corner, the curious will enjoy a science lab, which houses a few amphibians, science-related toys and games, and lots of space for group experiments.
Be sure to spend some time in the main hallway, a destination in itself. You'll find magnetized wall displays including working gears, letters, animals and kids' art on display.
With well thought-out exhibits, large windows and whimsical art throughout, the museum is bright, colorful and just the right size for young explorers. An added bonus to this small museum is that you really can't lose a wandering child. The welcome desk is located between the only two doors, which alert the attendant when they are opened.
The Children's Museum of Edwardsville is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The museum is located at 722 Holyoake Road, Edwardsville, Ill., 62025. Admission is $4 for those ages 1 and up. The museum hosts birthday parties, camps and school field trips. For more information, visit the museum's website or call 618-692-2094.From the calendar