“We chose Toytopia because of its connection to Springfield entrepreneur Milton Bradley, and it has proven popular beyond what we imagined.”
—Kay Simpson, CEO and President of the Springfield Museums
Springfield games entrepreneur Milton Bradley was just one reason the Springfield Museums jumped at the opportunity to host Toytopia—the traveling exhibition of larger-than-life toys. The other reasons included the dollhouse you can walk right into, the giant piano, the world’s largest Etch-a-Sketch, and the vintage arcade game gallery—not to mention an intriguing and interactive history of American toys from the turn of the century through today.
“We chose Toytopia because of its connection to Springfield entrepreneur Milton Bradley,” said Kay Simpson, CEO and President of the Springfield Museums. “And it has proven popular beyond what we imagined.” The exhibit that features toys created by Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and the company they eventually became—Hasbro—received so much appreciative visitation—and many repeat visits—that the Museums chose to extend its stay from the original closing date of April 28 to July 7.
Those who loved the hands-on learning, and fun, available through this interactive exhibit will be pleased to know that the Museums have refreshed the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum with new interactives, many of which were inspired by how much our visitors enjoyed Toytopia. The Museums also have two more traveling exhibits dedicated to immersive, hands-on learning available this summer.
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails!—a STEM-based exhibit that features the popular tank engine—is open now and runs through September 8. Van Gogh for All—a fully immersive exploration of the master painter’s life and work—begins July 20 and runs through October 14.
These traveling exhibits augment Van Gogh and Japanese Prints, People at Work and other Environmental Portraits by Tad Malek, Fanny Palmer: The Artist behind Currier & Ives’ Greatest Prints, Legacy: The Philanthropy of Smith &Wesson, and Taking Care of Business: A Century of Women and Work in Springfield.
The Museums’ popular summer family programing—The Summer Spectacular Family Series—adds even more to the Museums’ offerings with facilitated programming seven days a week.
“One of the very best ways to learn is to have fun while you are learning. We are all about that!” said Jenny Powers, Family Engagement Coordinator, who is a great facilitator of edutainment—education plus entertainment. Powers added, “When I see caregivers sharing ah-hah moments with their children, I really know I am doing my job right!”
This summer Sundays and Mondays highlight the hands-on spaces always available in the Museums: The Cat’s Corner, Hasbro Games Art Discovery Center, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum with the addition of many new and improved bi-lingual interactives. Tuesday through Saturday the programming kicks in with bubble parties, costume character visits, science activities, and the Roaming Railroad. All activities are free with Museums admission.
The Summer Spectacular Family Series is sponsored by Charles H. Hall Foundation, a Bank of America Trustee.
Toytopia is sponsored by Lyman and Leslie Wood, Samuel Hanmer, and Kay and John Simpson.
Toytopia® was created by Stage Nine Design and is distributed by Exhibits Development Group.