Escape to play this winter

South suburban spotlight

A team of educators is so eager to get kids excited about Will County’s first children’s museum they are planning to open the doors early.

Every month until the grand opening in late spring or early summer, the KidsWork Children’s Museum is offering a family program called Play Escape. Stations that offer play and creative expression will be set up throughout the museum based around the month’s theme—January’s theme focuses on polar bears, penguins and ice fishing and February focuses on dental health, celebrations of love and black history. In addition, parents and kids can create art to take home.

Donna Williams, communications chairwoman for the museum, says some of the major exhibits will be installed in January. Families can play at the museum while organizers continue to raise money for it, she says.

The 6,700-square-foot museum is located in Frankfort’s historic district in the old Joliet and Northern Indiana Trolley line building, 11 S. White St. When open, it will feature interactive exhibits on two floors for kids up to age 13 focusing on art, science, technology and community.

Among the exhibits planned for the first floor will be Reptile City where kids interact with live reptiles, Village Vet where kids can play vet to life-sized stuffed animals, the Move-It area filled with balls, ramps, chutes, baskets and sorters and Up, Up& Away featuring air fountains.

The second floor includes a theater stage, art area, light playground that allows kids to play with light and a music area that includes a full body piano and a music junkyard of instruments made from recycled material.

Play Escape is offered Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. until the museum officially opens. A discounted pass good for 10 admissions to Play Escape is available at the museum. Drop-in admission is $5 per child, free for adults and children under 2.

For more information on Play Escape, go to or call the museum at (815) 469-1199.

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