New State Historical Museum exhibit for kids of all ages
"Kid Stuff: Great Toys From Our Childhood" opens October 7

For immediate release September 28, 2006

 

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

(DES MOINES) – Explore the games and gadgets that have inspired childhood play and imagination for decades when a new exhibit, “Kid Stuff: Great Toys From Our Childhood,” opens next week at the State Historical Museum.

“Kid Stuff” opens October 7, 2006 through January 7, 2007 at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Admission is free and open to the public. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 515-281-5111 for more information.

The exhibit 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 will 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 of all ages will have a great time with this exhibit,” said Anita Walker, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “Children will experience the toys their parents grew up with, and parents and grandparents will be able to revisit their past and share childhood memories with their own children. 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.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Historical Museum will host a number of programs, including a Pajama Party; “Breakfast with Santa” events; an Easy Bake Oven contest featuring local chefs and their children; and a Toy Stories festival featuring storytellers, magicians, jugglers, games, contests and cardstacker Bryan Berg – the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Tallest House of Cards and World’s Largest House of Cards.

Following are the programs that will be held in conjunction with the exhibit:

October 7, 2006 – January 7, 2007

  • High school students and other volunteer groups will greet and play games with visitors.

  • Raggedy Ann and Andy will greet museum visitors every weekend.

  • Museum staff will create a “Hands on Area” in the exhibit parlor for children to play with toys.

  • Volunteers will make a game cart available to visitors every weekend.

October 7, 2006
“Pajama Party”
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free
Pajama Party featuring Raggedy Ann and Andy; games (Twister, Balsa-wood plane flying), contests and prizes; doughnuts, juice and coffee; and kids specials at Café Baratta’s.

November 17, 2006
“Easy Bake Oven Contest”
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Free
Held in conjunction with the Historic East Village’s Holiday Promenade, the State Historical Museum will shine a light (bulb) on a 40-year-old American tradition when local celebrity chefs and their children compete in the Easy Bake Oven Contest.

November 18, 2006
Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale October 1 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.
Free
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.

November 25, 2006
“Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale October 1 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.

December 2, 2006
“Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale October 1 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.

December 2, 2006
“Doll Collectors”
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free
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
“Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale October 1 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.

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

December 16, 2006
“Breakfast with Santa”
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
$10, on sale October 1 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.

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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