Gallery of Games
The Miami Children's Museum shines light (specifically, an in-gallery torch) onto the upcoming summer Olympics
Located on Watson Island in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, the Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) seems pretty incomparable to foggy London town—home to the 2012 Olympics. But in the spirit of crossing boundaries, MCM opened an exhibit earlier this month, “Summer Games," which has already proven successful in its interactive take on the upcoming competitions. We spoke to MCM’s director of exhibitions, Mike Neufeld, about the logistics of capturing the Olympic spirit, and the perks of doing gymnastics in a gallery. —Lucie Alig
How did the idea for the “Summer Games" exhibit come about?
Four years ago, MCM thought it would be fun to develop an interactive, athletic wonderland for kids. That show focused on the culture of the Olympics, national spirit, teamwork, and what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle. We received outstanding praise from our guests, and decided to bring back a similar exhibition in time for the 2012 games. This year, I focused on adding more physical interactivities—such as swimming, cycling, and running.
What are some of the most popular parts of the exhibit?
“Fantastic Gymnastics” and “Bounce Your Way to Victory” are really popular, along with the unique photography section. Guests can light a torch, and use it to ignite a flame in front of a podium; families can then take photos of the child as the Olympian winner! Also popular, especially with dads, is “Reaction Time,” a set of starting blocks and timers where you can practice reacting to the start of a race. Guests learn how important the start of a race can be.
Any other exciting exhibitions coming up at the Miami Children’s Museum?
On June 24th, we’ll be opening “Seth’s Construction Zone”, which features a giant airways system through which guests can manipulate paths to arrive at certain destinations. And in September, we’ll be bringing back our nationally travelled exhibit, “Wizard of Oz”. It was custom-built by MCM and has been travelling around to other children’s museums since 2010. It’s been a huge hit and we’re excited to bring it back to Miami!