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Kidzu Museum in Chapel Hill

A couple of months ago, we discovered Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill and are so happy that we’ve gotten to spend many of these hot afternoons playing inside this innovative space!

kidzu museum - plant sprout climb

Since we live on the south side of Durham it’s a quick drive over to Chapel Hill’s University Mall. The location is convenient. There’s easy parking and other things to do in the small mall or outside. There are several restaurants nearby or there’s a space to eat a packed lunch inside the museum.

My 3.5 year-old son and nearly 1 year-old daughter are both engaged for hours when we go. It’s just the right speed for younger school-age and preschool children. We usually get to mall and eat first (Village Burger is delicious!). We play at Kidzu for a few hours and then wander around for a special treat Southern Seasons before heading home.

kidzu museum - kitchen

Kidzu recently opened their newest exhibit: Plant, Sprout, Climb. It focus is on plant life and it’s relationship to our food and the ‘growth’ of the museum itself. Included in the main exhibit room is a wall dedicated to plans for a new space. Visitors are encouraged to dream, design, and build! I love the spirit of tinkering that in present throughout the museum. From building greenhouse out of recycled materials to launching balls down the Gravitron, activities at Kidzu have been designed to cultivate creativity in young explorers.

kidzu museum - kidzu growing

Currently in it’s temporary “Launch Pad” location inside University Mall, Kidzu Museum serves as a local children’s museum in Chapel Hill, NC. The museum has been operating since 2006 and has steadily grown into larger locations for the past 8 years. They are currently working toward building a permanent home in downtown Chapel Hill. If you are familiar with the area, it will be on Rosemary St. (behind Franklin St.)–just off the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In it’s current location, Kidzu still offers many special programs, including story time, camps, demos and more. There are special events with a strong focus on the arts and science learning. You can see the upcoming list of events here. Please also double check current museum hours as they are somewhat varied this summer due to construction at University Mall.

My favorite room is the Makery. I could spend hours in there! It’s set up as an art studio and designed so kids can participate in hands-on learning that fuses art and science. Staff members are there to guide young learners through different stations. There’s plenty of room for creativity and exploration.

kidzu museum - makery

We also love spending time in the Book Nook. This cozy room is a nice spot to curl up with a book and have a little fun with the puppet theatre.

kidzu museum - reading room

Another room dedicated to building. It’s stocked with all sorts of blocks and building materials. My son had a great time building this ‘highway.’

kidzu museum - building

There’s also a light table. Confession: if there’s no kids using it, I sit and play on this thing like I’m a five year-old. It’s the best!

kidzu museum - light table

Kidzu is such a great outing for young children. The space is not overwhelming and all of the activities are tailored for play-based learning. I also love that Kidzu has a strong focus on environmental responsibility and creative thinking. It truly is a children’s museum for our future.

kidzu museum - plants

Have you been to Kidzu?