Take a look at the new exhibits in Pittsburgh’s Children’s Museum and MuseumLab

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and MuseumLab were closed for 15 months during the pandemic, and they just opened with some brand new exhibits, including a climbing area for older kids that transforms an old library into what one child called a “gigantic tarantula web”.

So many families are excited to come back to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, but before you do, make sure you get your timed ticket in advance online, bring your mask for anyone older than age 2, and get ready to have fun.

Once inside, it feels like you’re part of the movie “Inside Out” at the new exhibit created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with Pixar Studios.

Senior Director of Design for the Children’s Museum Anne Fullencamp explains that the musical sounds, the colorful memory balls and Riley’s Mind Map all aim to help kids and families talk about their feelings.

Fullencamp says they’ve been studying research and learned that kids “do need to be taught these skills and social and emotional skills, and frankly, it’s really important  to get kids and families comfortable talking about their feelings and emotions, even if it’s very hard.”

Parent John Twitty, who lives in Mars and was enjoying the “Inside Out” exhibit with his children, says, “I definitely think it’s never too early to start that, so I definitely think sharing your emotions is a great thing.”

Incorporating the lessons of Fred Rogers with his music playing in the background and his image on the wall, the new Kindness Gallery also focuses on expression, teaching ways to be kind, like sending gift boxes through the mail, virtually at the museum, or writing a note to a friend or family member.

 But the most innovative new exhibit is a blend of art, architecture and climbing structure called Gymlacium, pronounced “gym-LAY-see-um”.  It’s a permanent exhibit at MuseumLab, the Children’s Museum’s new location next door for older kids that opened in 2019.

When you enter Gymlacium, it’s hard to imagine it was actually the stacks of the Carnegie Library.  The wooden shelves are now on part of the floor, and there’s a glass floor to allow light through because this building was here before these was even electricity.

Fullencamp explains,  “There are little spots, hammocks (the artist) has built, that you can sit in and relax.  She’s built trees you can climb up, and she’s put little Easter eggs, little surprises throughout to find.”

With kids dancing, sliding and playing, the Children’s Museum and MuseumLab re-open with new ways for kids to explore.

“It’s actually pretty exciting. There’s some new stuff,” said 10-year-old Vincent Griffin.

“It’s fun to do everything as an older kid and fun to see all the new stuff they made like this,” said 11-year-old Leo Nowatzki.