Westchester Children’s Museum Unveils New Interactive Gift Shop

The Westchester Children’s Museum has partnered with toy company Melissa & Doug to unveil a new interactive play space and gift shop for kids to extend their play outside of the museum’s exhibits. The space reflects the museum’s mission of using unstructured play as a vehicle for creative thinking and problem solving. The gift shop will occupy 400 square feet of space and open by December, just in time for the holidays. If you’re headed to the museum and also need to focus on buying holiday gifts–while the kids focus on something else–you can accomplish every goal in one place.

The gift shop will feature play experiences and toys that help kids mimic real-life situations. They can be a vet, a gardener, a chef, a caregiver, a train conductor, a doctor, an astronaut, a princess, a magician…really anything they can think of! More highlights of the gift shop include:

  • Pretend shopping: Little ones can grab kid-sized shopping carts and take a trip through a Fresh Mart grocery store to buy all the food they could want, or play cashier and ring up purchases. Swapping roles with other kids builds social skills and kids’ ideas of grown-up responsibilities and situations.
  • Animal care: Kids can examine, treat, pamper, and play with furry friends at the Animal Care Activity Center! Your child can either be a vet and take x-rays, blood pressure, and more, or be a dog groomer and make sure pups are living their best lives. If your child just loves pets, she can also head to the “Petting Zoo” to hang out with lifelike stuffed animals.
  • Restaurant experiences: At the Star Diner, kids have the opportunity to play chef, customer, or server in a realistic play space that features a kitchen (with a milkshake maker!), dining booth, and jukebox.
  • Playing house: You can join your child as he experiences the playhouse–however he wants to act out family life, you'll be along for the ride!

“At Melissa & Doug, we’re committed to providing a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose,” says Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of the toy company. “We’re thrilled to be creating an immersive, experiential play space for the Westchester Children’s Museum Gift Shop. Real learning and growth happen when kids are given sparks that inspire them to use their imagination, try out their ideas, and explore new possibilities.”

Museum admission is not required to enjoy the gift shop with your family come December. For more information on the shop, visit the Westchester Children’s Museum site.

Main Image: Courtesy Corinne Zola

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