We visited Toledo in the midst of the Snowpocolypse that was hitting a significant area of the US just after Christmas. And since the snow and bitter cold made doing anything outside less than ideal, the Imagination Station was a great choice to let the kids run off some energy.
What struck me first was the wide range of activities for all age groups. Some of the concepts and activities are for older children and adults, like making a supported bridge with a keystone or building designed to withstand seismic activity, or (at the time) the Grossology traveling exhibit that explores the *ahem* more interesting aspects of bodily functions.
|Push the button!|
|Preparing for the collapse of an |
|Finishing off the arch bridge.|
But there are also lots of activities that are fun for younger visitors, even if they aren't yet at a developmental level to fully understand the concept. Water tables allow you to see how erosion works with faucets and piles of sand. A special compartment lets you feel hurricane force wind. Once exhibit shows how or perceptions can be manipulated and fooled into seeing/feeling something different. And you can become a human yo-yo with a counter weight system.
|You can wait for the water, or you can just|
knock down the levy yourself.
|Squinting into the wind.|
|Here, Little Man is almost as tall as Mark and Grandma|
|Ace, the human yo-yo|
There's a special area reserved for Kindergarten aged children and younger, identified as the "Little Kid Space." Children can work out imaginative play in with elaborate props and signs give adults suggestions to prompt imaginations. An extensive set up includes a large tree house, a play-hospital with x-rays to look at, a grocery store where kids can be customers or employees, and a fire truck that can put out a small "fire" on a nearby building. The water play area even includes a special water table for infants.
|Tree house, with play hospital directly behind|
|Driving to the "fire"|
|Uncle P helping to aim the "water cannon"|
|Infant water table|
Throughout the museum, friendly staff members are available to guide activities or answer questions; and the available facilities make taking the whole family an easy and enjoyable outing. If you find your self in or passing through Toledo, Ohio, the Imagination Station is a fun break for everyone in the family.
As of January 2014, admission for "Big Kids" (ages 13-64) is $10, and $8 for "Kids" (ages 3-12). Ages 2 and under free, and senior discounts and free admission for teachers and active military are available with proper identification. The Imagination Station is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Check the Toledo Imagination Station website for information about holiday openings and closings, special Monday openings, and current admission rates.