Historical Museum to shine light (bulb) on American tradition
Public can prepare and cook Easy-Bake Oven recipes as part of Kid Stuff exhibit

For immediate release November 8, 2006


Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –The State Historical Museum will shine a light (bulb) on a 43-year-old American tradition this month during an Easy-Bake Oven party.

The public is invited to prepare and cook Easy-Bake Oven recipes during the party, 5:30-6:30 p.m. November 17, 2006 at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The party is being held as part of the museum’s “Kid Stuff: Great Toys from our Childhood” exhibit and in conjunction with the Historic East Village’s Holiday Promenade. Admission to the party is free.

“Moms and dads and grandparents are invited to bring their children and grandchildren to the Historical Museum to try all the Easy-Bake Oven favorites – yellow cake, chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies and more,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Anita Walker said.

Easy-Bake Oven recipes crafted by world renowned chefs also will be available to party-goers to take home, and frosted brownies and cookies prepared in advance will be available for purchase.

“Kid Stuff” explores the games and gadgets that have inspired childhood play and imagination for decades. It has all the classics – from Tonkas and Tinkertoys to Colorforms and Cooties; from Raggedy Anns to Radio Flyers. With more than 200 vintage toys to see, visitors have numerous things to do, including throwing Nerf balls at “priceless” crystal, have their pictures taken with a life-sized Barbie or G.I. Joe, dress Mr. Potato Head – and Carrot and Eggplant Head – and more.

“Kids are having a great time with this exhibit, playing with toys their parents grew up with, and parents and grandparents are revisiting their past and sharing childhood memories with their own children,” Walker said. “The intergenerational appeal of this exhibit is its strongest feature.”

The exhibit, created by the Berkshire Museum and now on a National Tour, has traveled to the Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and other children’s museums and science centers through the country.

Based on the book Kid Stuff: Great Toys From Our Childhood, by David Hoffman, the 4,500-square-foot exhibition displays more than 40 classic toys and games – the most popular toys of the past 50 years – illustrated by hundreds of classic illustrations, period advertisements and vintage reels. Many of the toys featured in the exhibit will be available for purchase in the Iowa Museum Store located in the Historical Building, including the modern version of the Easy-Bake Oven.

Additional events scheduled to be held in conjunction with “Kid Stuff” include:

November 18, 25 and December 2, 9 & 16
“Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale at www.iowatix.com
Join Santa in Cafe Baratta's for breakfast! This traditional favorite event will serve a hearty feast for children and adults alike. Local blues musician Frank Strong will play seasonal songs on guitar and harmonica. Stick around to hear Santa read traditional holiday tales from around the globe and sit on his lap for a picture. Activities include Gift Wrapping for Kids, toy collectors on display, make-and-take holiday crafts.

November 21 to December 17, 2006
“Toys for Tots”
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
The State Historical Museum will be a Toys for Tots drop-off site. Toys for Tots collects toys for boys and girls, newborn to 17 years old. They ask for new, unwrapped toys for children in these age groups. Due to health regulations, Toys for Tots is allowed to distribute only new toys. Thank you for your support.

November 24, 2006
“Toy Stories Festival”
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Storytellers, magicians and jugglers from across Iowa will present “Toy Stories Festival” at the State Historical Museum. Visitors can play games, enter contests and watch in awe as cardstacker Bryan Berg, the Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest House of Cards and World’s Largest House of Cards, builds a structure inside the museum’s atrium. Touring regularly, Berg has appeared on “CBS This Morning,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “Ellen DeGeneres,” “Martha Stewart Unsifted,” “Guinness Prime Time,” “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” “The Discovery Channel,” CNN and various foreign shows. His work has been featured in nearly every major newspaper nationwide in addition to publications such as Wired, Reader’s Digest, Men’s Health, Games Magazine, Maxim, National Geographic For Kids, Time Magazine for Kids and 321 Contact. In 2004, Berg earned his Master of Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He previously served as design faculty for three years in the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University, where he received his Professional Degree in Architecture in 1997.

December 2, 2006
“Doll Collectors”
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visitors to the museum will learn about collecting and how to place value of fine antiques, cloth dolls and one-of-a-kind Barbie and fashion dolls.

December 9, 2006
“Trains and Railroads”
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Train and railroad collectors will give a presentation on the hobby of model railroading and scale model railroad from Des MoiNTRAK.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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