New Smithsonian exhibit for miniature minds to open in D.C.

WASHINGTON — A new 1700-square-foot exhibit opens in D.C. this December, and it’s meant to interest and excite the tiniest minds.

‘Wegman’s Wonderplace’ will be located in the new Innovation Wing of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Supermarket chain Wegman’s has put up $1.5 million for this new learning space built specifically for young children, a first for the Smithsonian.

Megan Smith is an interpretive specialist at the museum and project director for “Wonderplace.”

“There are other spaces on the Mall that welcome kids of this age group, zero to six, but this is the first exhibition that’s been designed for them at the Smithsonian,” she says.

The children’s center will feature hands-on play areas that include a kid’s size version of Julia Child’s kitchen. The original celebrity chef’s actual kitchen is already on display at the museum.

The learning space also includes a construction site, a farm stand which kids can operate, a tugboat, a climber that looks like the Smithsonian castle and a gallery.

“It’s expressly for our youngest visitors to get them interested in both American History and in coming to museums,” says Smith.

The hope is that the children’s exhibition will turn young tikes into life-long museum lovers.

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