In the News: Discovery Center Announces Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit Among 2023 Exhibit Lineup
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Topeka’s nonprofit children’s museum, will present the nationally traveling “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” from January 27 to May 14, 2023. Created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with Fred Rogers Productions, this exhibit is based on the award-winning PBS KIDS television series that follows the adventures of 4-year-old Daniel Tiger and his friends.
This exhibit is part of an unprecedented special exhibit schedule for the Discovery Center. Following “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit”, the museum will open “Camp Kansas”, a locally-constructed exhibit promoting outdoor adventures in the sunflower state, from June 9 to August 27. The nationally traveling “Curious George: Let’s Get Curious” exhibit will finish out the year from September 15, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
All three special exhibits, in addition to the museum’s 15,000 square feet of permanent exhibits and 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom, are available at the cost of regular admission. The museum is committed to access for all families, and will continue to offer monthly free nights, sliding scale field trip rates, and Museums for All admission for families receiving TANF or WIC. The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will continue their program of free museum passes available for check out to anyone with a library card.
Special exhibits like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” have a strong history of drawing tourism to Shawnee County, generating as much as a 50 percent increase in out-of-state visitors at the museum and driving local spending. Last spring’s Dino Days exhibit set attendance records for the museum.
“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” brings to life the themes presented in the PBS series such as community, communication and emotions, which enables young children to understand their feelings and those of their neighbors. Exhibit elements include an Imagination Stage, where kids can put on costumes of series characters and step onto the stage to act; The Music Shop, where children can express themselves through unusual instruments; The Post Office, where they can sort, deliver and receive packages and letters; and a Thank You Tree, where visitors can write or draw thank-you notes and put them on the tree.
“Daniel speaks directly to children, and he is their age,” notes Paul Siefken, Vice President, Broadcast and Digital Media with The Fred Rogers Company. “Because of that, they see him as their friend, and he goes through a lot of the challenges that they face, whether it’s dealing with mad feelings or learning how to share.”
Along with the emotional lessons gleaned in the Neighborhood, visitors can:
- Transform into to a favorite character with masks and costumes
- Compose a song or play along with one-of-a-kind instruments
- Create stories through the Movable Character Mural
- Step inside the Clock Factory to play with a variety of clocks
- Identify spots in one’s own neighborhood on the interactive world map
- Cozy up with a good book in O the Owl’s Reading Nest and
- Stroll with a Trolley along the path, and ring the bell upon arrival!