Children's Museum

10 am–5 pm Daily; Closed Sept. 2 - 5

A young girl plays with the beads on the Nimbus Drum


Like every great attic, there's a lot to explore and learn here - plus a few surprises

In this room you can: 

  • Try your best to cross the Gravity Room, tilted at a 25° angle to the floor and sending conflicting messages to your brain.  Two twisty slides take you back down to the ground floor.  
  • Capture your shadow on the wall with a strobe light in the Phosphorescent Room and draw with light-emitting diode (LED) pens to add details.
  • Create a puppet show with our extensive puppet collection through Animateering, a virtual world capturing dozens of puppets that mimic you through a Kinect system as you move, jump and spin, and change the scenery and music.  Created in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center.
  • Interact with Nimbus Drum, a kinetic sound artwork in which clashing metal beads not only create sound, but affect an installation of overhanging clouds, in order to call attention to the smaller things in life that are oftentimes overlooked. Part of Tough Art 2017. Please note: This piece uses strobe lights and magnets. The beads used are NOT magnetic, however there are magnets located inside the bead table.

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  • Sort balls by color using a big turning wheel with Color Bouncer
  • Discover wondrous collections in the Cabinet of Curiosities  

The Art Here  

  • Nimbus Drum, Tough Art 2017, Shohei Katayama
  • Dracula, Warhol Myth Series, by Andy Warhol
  • Mata Hari, Warhol Myth Series, by Andy Warhol
  • Howdy Doody, Warhol Myth Series, by Andy Warhol
  • urSol the Chanter, Mystic Puppet from The Dark Crystal by Jim Henson Productions
  • Portal, a mirror installation by Wade Kramm

Design Matters

The Attic was designed to be a space with widely varying items and experiences, much like what you might find in someone’s attic.  We used a variety of colors, pattern materials and textures to encourage visitors to explore using all of their senses. When with common features such as color, shape and use are grouped items together, they become a collection. Collections make ordinary items special by showing how things are different in some ways and the same in others – repetition and variation are key principals in design. 

Related Field Trip


Visiting Tips

Use the downloadable file below for tips for before and after your visit to the Attic.