The Children's Museum of Tacoma opens Saturday in an all new space in the United Way building on Pacific Ave.
It will officially open to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday, after a 9-10:30 a.m. members-only play session at 10:45 a.m. opening remarks.
Lucky members have already had the chance to preview the museum, during a series of member previews taking place over the past month.
The new museum is an upgrade of 60 percent more space, and is filled with fantastical "playscapes," art to create and all manner of things to touch, see, create, hear and smell. Yes, smell: a trough of cocoa bark is an enticing place to play and smell.
The new space is divided into areas: Wood, Water, Voyager, Invention and Becka's Studio.
There's also a cafe, manned by Satellite Coffee that will offer treats for kids and grown-ups alike.
We caught up with member Keri Anderson as her sons climbed through Voyager - an ambiguous craft that could be a pirate ship, a rocket, a bird or something else entirely.
"It's so much fun," said Anderson, who has been a member since right before her younger son was born seven years ago. "I love that it's open-ended imaginative play."
Anderson also likes that the design engages both older and younger children. Her sons are 10 and seven, and both had no problem finding activities to engage them.
She says the first words out of one of her son's mouths was "WHOA," but a "WHOA" with "like 12 exclamation points."
"There's so many layers, they keep discovering new things," she said, watching her sons climb and play. "They are so excited."