Kids will be able to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the fabulous Emerald City, with lots of stops along the way, in a new exhibit opening Saturday at the Omaha Children's Museum.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” will open with a parade at 10 a.m. Children who want to participate can dress in costume if they like, and bring their tricycles, bikes, wagons or scooters (no motorized vehicles). Or they can march on foot.
The parade is free, but participants need to register online, at the museum or at the event. They also should arrive early at the assembly area in the Wells Fargo parking lot across from the Rose Theater, 20th and Farnam Streets.
One of the highlights of the parade will be the Cairn Terrier Club of the Heartland, which will be bringing a bunch of Totos.
The “Oz” exhibit is a combination of a rented exhibit and the imagination and hard work of staff members — especially carpenter and traveling exhibits coordinator Matt Walker — who have created a wonderful world in which visitors can immerse themselves.
Kids can follow the Yellow Brick Road as it wanders through exciting places such as the Farmhouse, Scarecrow Field, Tin Man Forest, Story Book Land, Cowardly Lion's Area and the Wicked Witch's Castle. Each area will have something for the kids to do or make.
Along the way, kids also can take in Tornado Town. It will have a station using green screen technology that allows the kids to see themselves in different locations, a tornado machine that creates a twister, a weather station that shows kids what weather people do and the Tornado Twister ($2), which allows guests to experience the winds of an F1 tornado. Note: Hairdos will not survive.
At the Rainbow Stage, visitors can dress up in costumes, listen to stories or play with puppets. At Glinda's Bubble Magic, they can create giant bubbles. The Farmhouse will have a variety of activities and games. The Munchkinland Play Area has a backyard play structure. The Witch's Castle will have potion-making and a carnival-style flying monkey slingshot game.
In the center of the exhibit will be the State Fair Omaha Balloon Launch. A real hot-air balloon will be extended from the ceiling for kids to explore. There also will be small-scale balloon launches.
At the Emerald City, kids can explore the science of gemology and check out the Wentz-scope for looking at microscopic things. And they can investigate the Treasure Trove, which features a variety of things to make with customized beads — not just jewelry but also swords and shields.
Staff members dressed up as Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow will make appearances on a rotating basis 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays, and 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays, through the end of the exhibit, which will be at the museum until Sept. 9.
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