KidsPlay’s exhibits are inviting, connect to real-world activities, inspire dramatic play, and spark a sense of wonder. They are designed to meet the developmental needs of children ages 1 to 10 and to engage adults too. This hands-on museum is the perfect venue for student field trips, birthday parties, and family day trips.
Explore an Environment that Sparks Curiosity and Motivates Learning
KidsPlay’s town center is modeled after our city, Torrington, Connecticut. It provides community staples including a diner, grocery store, bank, stage, a Pick’n Patch Garden, and much more. Perfect for dramatic play and big imaginations!
Children use pretend play to cook, serve, and wash up in our 50’s diner using a large variety of fake food, plates, pots, pans, and utensils. Caregivers and other children can enjoy their meal at the child-sized counter. Bon Appetit!
Where do all those vegetables in the grocery store come from? Pick and pull vegetables off their stem and from the ground in our interactive painted garden!
Pick up a shopping cart and stroll up and down our grocery aisles stocked full of real food boxes and canned goods, along with plastic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and bakery goods. Full cart? Head to our checkout counter where children can be the shopper or the cashier!
Need to get your teeth checked? Stop by the Dental Exhibit. This exhibit was developed with Brooker Dental and is complete with a dental chair, check-in desk, and lab coats. Kids can practice their brushing and flossing technique using our giant set of teeth. It’s never too early to start exploring good dental health.
Does your child love to perform? Children can put on a spectacular performance on our theater stage, complete with a colorfully painted backdrop, mirrors, props, musical instruments, and costumes. Guests can enjoy the show from the seating area in our special theater seats. The painted facade is designed after Torrington’s very own Warner Theatre!
This area is reserved for children ages 2 and under. The soft, padded floor and large pads for climbing and exploring are perfect for your crawlers, cruisers, and first-time walkers. Stimulating toddler activities, games and toys are also mounted on the walls at just the right height.
Slip into a firefighter vest and fire hat and jump into the driver’s seat of the Fire Truck. Constructed and painted by our very own Torrington Fire Department, the Fire Truck is complete with a revolving and flashing red light, brass bell, and walkie-talkie. Using the water hose on the back of the truck, children use pretend play to put out the fiercest of fires.
Everyone needs to make a quick bank run every now and again. In this exhibit, located in an actual vault, children can start to build their numeracy skills and financial literacy in our kid-sized bank.
Your child can take a shift as the drive-thru teller or customer, explore the safe-deposit boxes, or organize the “money” on our magnetic wall. This exhibit was designed in collaboration with and through financial support from Torrington Savings Bank.
Arts & Innovation Zone
Our Interactive Floor encourages active and physical indoor play for visitors while simultaneously providing learning and social engagement opportunities. Work together or have fun competing in the various available virtual games and puzzles!
Come create, problem solve, and engineer with Rigamajig! This large-scale wooden building kit inspires imagination, curiosity, and discovery through hands-on and open-ended play. Children can create whatever they can imagine while promoting cooperative learning and sharing.
A facilitated exhibit, where children engage in artistic and scientific creation, innovation, and experimentation. In this space, children manipulate various tools, mediums, and materials both in guided and free play.
Have you ever wished you could paint on the walls? In our Evaporating Art space, you can! Using paintbrushes and water, paint whatever comes to mind on the stone walls. In a few minutes, designs begin to slowly evaporate leaving space for more art and fun.
Block play is an important part of child development. In Block City, children learn to problem solve, use their imaginations, and build cooperatively while increasing their self-esteem and learning math and science. Build, photograph, knock it over, repeat!
Come make some noise in our music room. Equipped with noise makers, a piano, sound tubes, and drums, children have everything they need to compose a song or just enjoy making interesting sound combinations.
Literacy Tree House
Discover the beauty of language and reading in our Literacy Tree House that is set in a native Connecticut forest between five lifelike 20-foot trees. In the tree house you can climb up, cross bridges, and slide down our rope slide! As children are traveling through, they can follow along page by page in our monthly StoryWalk® featured book. In addition, there are a series of interactive activities to promote STEM learning and literacy.
- The trunk of the largest tree is wide enough to walk into, and its ceiling is an illuminated constellation map.
- The Clubhouse is accessible by crossing a swaying suspension bridge or by climbing a large rope tube. Learning activities in the Clubhouse change seasonally.
- The Story Nest is the second large platform of the Literacy Tree House and contains a library of books to explore and hosts storytimes. The Story Nest is also home to the Interactive Wall, a collection of rotating prisms with interchangeable images designed for literacy and STEM activities.
- The Cave includes a storytelling campfire and glow-vinyl walls and light pens for children to engage in a writing activity inspired by early cave art.
Asian Culture Exhibit
Transport yourself across the world through our Asian Culture exhibit, titled “Play”, from the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series (FFACES)! Over the past 20 years, the Freeman Foundation has majorly invested in developing a greater appreciation for Asian cultures and histories in the United States. This exhibit, in partnership with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), encourages a more in-depth experience and comprehension of Asian cultures through an important medium…Play!
It’s springtime in Japan! Pack your bento lunch box and relax in the hanami, or flower viewing, area to enjoy a cherry blossom picnic. Later try your hand at some traditional Japanese crafts like kigumi, joining wood beams together without any nails or screws, or making temari, colorful handballs formed from different intricate designs.
Go under the sea in South Korea! Explore the ocean floor and learn about Jeju Island’s Haenyo divers, who are able to dive deep into the ocean to gather fresh seafood. Afterwards, sell your catch at the immersive fish market modeled after the Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan.
Put on your doctor’s coat and head to the Panda Sanctuary in China! Nurse the baby pandas, wrap up any injuries, and feed them bamboo. If medicine isn’t your field, sell traditional Chinese street snacks at the food stall or help construct the city of Beijing on the giant magnetic wall!
Polar Pond @ KidsPlay! In Hibernation until the Cold Returns!
Sock skate on our new Polar Pond, made of synthetic ice that is just as slippery as real ice! Learn about arctic animals and their habitat while sliding and spinning around.
Use your imagination as you skate around Polar Pond with our soft polar penguins and seals and learn about their real-life habitats!
In the Light Lab, create brilliant designs using the Giant Lite-Bright Table. Fit colorful one-inch transparent rods into the table holes to create shining designs and shapes. Light fills the rods and leads to unique and artistic opportunities to use one’s imagination.
Traverse Climbing Wall
Come try out the Traverse Climbing Wall! Children will hone their motor and navigational skills as they work their way across the wall in this safe and functional space.
Discover the properties of air pressure, lift, and gravity. Children experiment with the dynamics of airflow. This is science at play!
The Air Tubes include long winding runs of clear tube pathways with diverters for children to control airflow. Children add balls and scarves, watching them rise and fall as they travel the pathways and they anticipate their direction and prepare to catch them at the exit point. The Bernoulli Box delights children of all ages with beach balls suspended mid-air and knobs to manipulate the speed of the airflow and change the pressure differentials. The Wind Power exhibit challenges children to design a wind turbine to generate energy. Changing the number, pitch, shape, and length of the blades, changes how much power the turbine can generate.
Consider a KidsPlay Membership
KidsPlay members receive an unlimited admission for a one-time price, 50% off admission for our members’ guests, 50% off admission at participating ACM museums across the country (annual memberships only), discounts on rentals, including birthday parties, and so much more!
Help Grow Our Exhibits
Love our exhibits and want to see more? Consider donating to our Exhibit Fund! Donations are used to support the design and creation of new exhibits that invite play in various areas of curiosity and that are appropriate for children of varied ages and developmental stages.