Museum offers ‘safe’ visit to North Pole
The Mississippi Children’s Museum is offering a magical journey to the North Pole during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Journey to the North Pole exhibit has a unique twist: the entire team at the museum played a hand in creating everything in the exhibit that contributes to the experience.
The museum wants to take children on a magical journey, and the exhibit has evolved over the past few years.
Props this year in the North Pole exhibit include a post office where children can write letters to Santa, take the role of post office workers, and take on tasks such as weighing mail and measuring envelopes.
There’s also a new clock tower with plexiglass to see the gears turning inside, with a small slide attached to it for infants and toddlers. And of course, the Snowflake Slide, a 45-foot tall slide, which is viewed as the exhibit’s main attraction.
“We want to make sure our educational components are worked into the attractions,” said Monique Ealey, director of education and programs at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. “When the children take part in the post office exhibit, they can weigh mail and measure envelopes, and see samples of main script and cursive letters.”
Ealey added that Santa will be in and out of the museum, and the staff members will be doing pop-up story time to make sure the joy of the holidays remains.
“We’re still operating as normal, just more spread out than usual,” she said. “We want to provide children and their families with some sense of normalcy, and it’s a good way to get your kids out of the house and feel some Christmas spirit to help take their minds off things.”
Angela Mitchell, director of external affairs at the museum, added that along with the Snowflake Slide and the post office, there’s also a Reindeer Rink, which is a sock skating rink where children can slide around in their socks and pretend they’re ice skating. Kids will be able to build their own gingerbread houses as well.
“Children will have a blast with these attractions,” Mitchell said. “Our staff takes everyone’s safety very seriously, and we’re asking everyone to wear a mask. We’ve also installed a bipolar ionization filtration system in the central air unit, which helps cleanse the air of airborne particles with a negative electric charge.”
Mitchell said since the museum is a very large facility and the exhibit being a come-and-go activity, Journey to the North Pole will continue to run smoothly. A tentative event, Jammies at Journey, is scheduled for December 18, and the museum encourages all visitors to wear pajamas that day.
Kate Perry, assistant director of exhibits, said running the exhibit this year has been interesting compared to previous years, but it’s been a great opportunity.
“Anything that’s positive in this crazy time is good. This is an exhibit that is loved by the community, and COVID actually allows us to spread out more, which is good due to our large museum space,” Perry said.
Perry said that the Journey to the North Pole is a highly children-centric exhibit and every aspect of it was designed with children in mind. She said kids will love it, especially the Snowflake Slide. It’s not just for children, but for all ages.
“We’ve got our community in mind during these hard times,” she said. “We’re here, open, and a safe place for people to come visit.”
The Journey to the North Pole exhibit at The Mississippi Children’s museum is currently running until Jan. 4. It is open to the public only on weekends until Dec. 18. From then on, members can visit the museum for special member-only hours from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the public.
For more information about Journey to the North Pole and The Mississippi Children’s Museum, visit www.mschildrensmuseum.org