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The Next Trick at the Magic House
June 27, 2013
By: Jack Shah
Shortly after last year’s very successful Pujols Family Foundation event at the Magic House, the Foundation was contacted about coming back again in 2013. On June 27th, the Pujols Family Foundation hosted their 2nd annual event for families with a child with Down syndrome at the Magic House: St. Louis Children’s Museum in Kirkwood, Missouri. The Magic House engages all children in hands-on learning experiences that encourage experimentation, creativity and the development of problem solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic.
The event took place on a typical St. Louis summer evening that saw nearly 400 people walk through the doors. As families lined up for registration, volunteers brought several trays of McAlister’s Deli cookies past the lines, which added to an already electric atmosphere in the lobby.
After a quick sign-in, families were off and running through the amazing, hands-on learning exhibits. I was one of the volunteers helping distribute cookies to all the families. After the cookie trays were set up outside of the second floor café, several families made us their first stop on their way to an exhibit.
The once quiet Magic House was suddenly filled with laughter and families making their way to the various exhibits. I had the great pleasure of witnessing all of the fun from my vantage point at the cookie table. I could hear children giggling as they encompassed themselves in giant bubbles in the bubble room. Looking over the balcony, I could see parents enjoying themselves as they looked on at their children role-playing as adults in a grocery store, pizza shop, library, ice cream shop, tree house, home, hospital, and auto repair shop in the Children’s Village. Down the hall, families were dressing up as early explorers and finding treasures as they read about Lewis and Clark and played with historic replicas of supplies used by the explorers. Upstairs, you could hear the whistles from model trains and children mimicking them in the Train Room. Immediately in front of the cookie table, I could see families taking turns using the giant kaleidoscope wheel. You could almost feel the excitement from the children waiting to touch the electrically charged ball for a hair raising experience!
After a while, I started to notice familiar faces return in line for cookies. Upon which, I started asking what their favorite exhibit was of the evening. The answer was pretty much the same, “Uh … Everything!” The Magic House provided a fun filled evening for children of all ages and parents alike. On a typical summer’s evening, this St. Louis tradition provided a truly magical night.