Dorothy Gale has clicked her ruby-red heels but, instead of going home to Kansas, she will find herself residing in Delaware through the end of January. She, Glinda the Good Witch, Tin Man and more of the "artifacts" of Dorothy's time in Oz will be in Wilmington thanks to the Delaware Children's Museum's new exhibit, "The Wizard of Oz."
"We've been open for four years now and, of course, we've been doing exhibits and fun activities but this is our first huge exhibit," said DCM Associate Director of Marketing and Communications Nicole Kindbeiter. "So, we decided to take the training wheels off, so to speak, with something fun, exciting and timely."
The classic Warner Bros film, which debuted in 1939, will hit a major milestone in October—its 75th anniversary. Exhibits and celebrations have been planned all over the country, making DCM's acquisition of the exhibit an important achievement.
"We were so lucky to get it," said Kindbeiter, explaining that the traveling show was put together by the Miami Children's Museum. "Before us, it was in Port Discovery in Baltimore and after us, it will go to Fort Worth, I believe."
The 2,500 square foot exhibit boasts interactive, multi-sensory explorations and experiments that are deceptively educational.
The programming has made DCM Director of Education Jennifer Bush especially excited.
"The 'Wizard of Oz' exhibition is not only an interactive experience for families to explore but it also allows us to engage children and families in fun, STEM-based programming," Bush said. "From experimenting with bubbles of different shapes in 'Bubble-ometry' to testing out the dissolving properties behind different substances in 'Melt the Witch."
Kindbeiter echoed Bush's excitement about the programming, adding that the staff has been trying out the experiments as they come in.
"We got to test out a great one that pays homage to the hot air balloon that takes Dorothy home that's so amazing," Kindbeiter said. "Using trash bags and birthday candles, kids will get to make a working hot air balloon that they'll also get to take home."
To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, even more activities are planned just for this weekend:
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $2 off general admission for Wizard of Oz costumes. Visit the exhibit as any "Wizard of Oz" character, from the Wicked Witch of the West or her flying monkeys to Munchkins, Glinda or Dorothy. Just pick your favorite!
9a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wizard of Oz Scavenger Hunt—Look high, look low, and follow the yellow brick road. Go on a Museum-wide scavenger hunt for iconic Wizard of Oz props. Find them all and turn in your completed scavenger hunt to the Admissions Desk for a small prize!
Page 2 of 2 - 10 to 10:30 a.m.; 3:30 – 4 p.m. Tin Man Freeze Dance—Can you dance? Can you jive? Can you twirl around and jump real high? Only if you remember to bring your oil can! Break out your best moves on the dance floor, but when the music stops you better freeze.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 2 to 3 p.m. Bubble-ometry—Have you ever seen a square bubble? What about a triangular bubble? And could a bubble really carry you away? Learn about the science behind Glinda's bubbles!
11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday only Meet-And Greet with Dorothy and Friends—Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch, and Director Daniel Schmitt, from the Delaware Children's Theatre's upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz (opening Saturday, November 23) will stop by to stroll along DCM's "Yellow Brick Road," stopping along the way to pose for pictures and chat with guests. Cameras welcome.
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Catch a Rainbow—Explore the properties of rainbows with explosive chemical reactions involving milk, dish soap, and food coloring.
MORE FUN STUFF
Another bonus of the exhibit coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie is DCM's partnership with Penn Cinema Riverfront, which will be showing the newly released "The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience." The partnership means a joint discount for patrons who purchase a ticket to both the movie and the exhibit.
"We all went to see it this week and I forgot what an amazing movie it really is," Kindbeiter said. "It's especially amazing when you consider that the movie wasn't originally formatted for 3D."
The temporary traveling exhibit will be at DCM through Sunday, January 26. "Wizard of Oz" activities have been scheduled through October so far. For more information on the activities, the exhibit or admission costs, visit www.delawarechildrensmuseum.org.