By stepping onto the porch and through the front door of the Fairfield Street house, visitors enter “Young Ted in Springfield.” This gallery explores areas of significance in Springfield, and also delves into family roles and relationships. The space is comprised of five large interactive areas:
- A replica of Ted’s childhood home, 74 Fairfield Street, includes a touchscreen where visitors can “draw” on the bedroom walls as Ted famously did as a child. Unlike many mothers, Ted’s mom was delighted by his whimsical crayoned animals.
- In the Seuss Bakery, children can role-play in a bakery similar to the one that Ted’s maternal grandparents ran on Howard Street. Children can pretend to bake their own pies using food ingredients and ovens, or pretend to take orders and sell pies using a cash register.
- At McElligot’s Pool, inspired by McElligot’s Pool (1947), children can play a digital fishing game surrounded by the multicolored fish from Ted’s famous book as they learn about how Ted and his father enjoyed fishing when he was growing up in Springfield.
- The Moose Juice and Goose Juice Brewery with its whimsical piping and artisan glasswork displays the fascination of conveyor belt production. Ted’s family co-owned a brewery called Kalmbach and Geisel until prohibition. In this area, children have an opportunity to play with light, sound, gears and gadgets as they explore a factory-like setting. Inside the structure, the Moose Juice and Goose Juice from Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book (1962) is bottled before their eyes.
- In the Forest Park Zoo, If I Ran the Zoo (1950), children play inside a replica Springfield’s Zoo in Forest Park ran by Ted’s father. The fantastical characters from the fictions McGrew Zoo will peek out the windows and inhabit the play area, serving as benches for families as children construct their own wild animals using LEGO blocks.