By Allison Carter Allison Carter is a mom in Chapel Hill who happens to run the website Mom In Chapel Hill. She is a former Mom2Mom columnist at the N&O, a UVA graduate, and loves spreading the word about great local family events.

Kidzu Changes Locations, But Keeps Its Promise

By Allison Carter Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

If ‘leapfrog’ is a popular kid’s game, then Kidzu Children’s Museum wins. Coming up on their 2nd move in two years, and still not at their final resting pad, this hot spot for families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro keeps getting bigger and better.

exhibit area-market angle

In September of this year Kidzu will be moving from their home at University Square to a larger space at University Mall (where the Library previously had temporary residence).

Kidzu Children’s Museum is being forced to relocate due to redevelopment plans for the building, scheduled to start at the end of 2013.  Yet while plans for the final home of Kidzu at Wallace Plaza are still on track and fundraising is going strong, the permanent space was never intended to be completed until 2016.

Instead of taking a hiatus Kidzu has decided to continue to do what it does for the community, even if it means two more moves in its future.

“We considered it a disservice to the community not to have a physical presence for families,” says Pam Wall, Executive Director of Kidzu.  “University Mall has been quite generous in working with [us]…This is really a gift for Kidzu.”

The temporary move to University Mall is being called the “Launch Pad Initiative.”  Moving in to this space will allow Kidzu to try out new exhibits, add to their permanent collection, and work out any kinks that might arise from staffing a larger facility before they move to Wallace Plaza.

exhibit area-construction angle

All the old exhibits that families have grown to love at Kidzu (including the ever-popular Gravitron) will make the move.  In addition, Kidzu is currently working with a design team to bring in new learning opportunities for children.  Plans include a large treehouse climber (the treehouse itself on loan from Morehead Planetarium).

The larger space will also allow Kidzu to offer more family programming and, while continuing to partner with The FRANK and Morehead Planetarium, Kidzu will be able to work with other Triangle area family favorites as well as host them on their own turf.

University Mall even has large, open community space that Kidzu will have available for its use.  In fact, they intend on taking advantage of that right away by working with the American Dance Festival this month.  ADF and Kidzu will be offering movement and dance seminars for children at the University Mall space in June (details can be found on Kidzu’s website).

Kidzu will remain open in its current location, University Square, all summer.  It will close for the move some time in September.

“We want people to come take advantage of the programming at University Mall [this summer] to see the space, get used to coming there, and to get as excited as we are,” Wall continues.  “Small is mighty, children are small, and children can be mighty when they have confidence, which learning through play provides.”

More learning through play will be available to Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s small and mighty children this fall.

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