Want to garner a sincere “Thanks Mom!” from your kids? Take them to the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville. Located in the historic former Central Library of this southwest Indiana city, cMoe as it’s known, is a favorite of my own kids.
The kids know we’ve arrived when they spot Millie the dinosaur pointing the way to cMoe’s entrance. You might recognize Millie from her days of standing guard outside the Indianapolis Children’s Museum:
Once inside, we head upstairs to the Think Big gallery that is all about the human body. My favorite activity in this gallery is the heartbeat drum. You put your hands on the sensors and a drum beats to the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Of course, it’s great fun to do 10 or 20 jumping jacks and see how much quicker my heart beats. If you ask my boys, they’ll tell you they love crawling through the giant nose, pretending they are human boogers.
We always spend plenty of time in the Speak Loud gallery doing art projects, acting out stories on the cozy stage and building colossal structures out of wooden blocks. Once we leave Speak Loud, we head to the upper level of the Quack Factory.
This by far is the kids’ favorite part of the trip. On the upper deck of the Quack Factory, kids can launch, levitate and collect hundreds of lightweight balls (think ball pit). They can also crawl through the levels of the giant duck structure. One of the best parts about this part of the Quack Factory is watching kids who don’t know each other work together to gather the balls that are always underfoot and send them down the chute to the wet deck of the gallery.
Moms (and dads), take note: Your children WILL get wet in the wet deck. Yes, there are waterproof smocks, but they have never successfully kept my children dry. So you might want to make the wet deck your last stop of the day at cMoe.
In the wet deck, kids (and very often grown ups) work to configure barriers to re-route the water that flows in the metal trough in the center of the room, shoot a mist cannon, and gather around the vortex bowl to see what happens to balls and rubber ducks as the bowl fills. Probably the wettest (and coolest) activity is using PVC pipe to build a structure that will contain a steady water leak.
On the way out, we always stop in the small museum store to see if there’s anything we can’t live without. Then we spend a few minutes playing the “magic,” stringless harp. Sometimes this is where arguments begin because someone (ok, it’s me) is hogging all of the time playing the harp. I can’t help it. It’s really cool!
There is much more to see and do at cMoe, but I’ll let you and your family check it out. cMoe is closed on Mondays. Visit the website for more admission information. If you go to cMoe, be sure to stop back here and let me know what your family thinks!