Slideshow: Learning Playtime

The New Hands On Children’s Museum is anything but generic

Photos by Molly Bold and Aaron Barna

Imagine a whimsical and adventurous Olympia built from a child’s imagination and you might come close to what the New Hands On Children’s Museum on Olympia’s East Bay is like. The 28,000-square-foot, $18 million project has turned into a spectacular museum that engages kids to learn about their community and the Pacific Northwest through the power of play. “This isn’t a cookie-cutter building,” said communications manager Genevieve Chan, looking around the dynamic and colorful little world that was quickly coming to life through rapid construction just days before the grand opening on Nov. 10. The museum is expected to draw 212,000 visitors in its first year, making it one of the largest children’s museums in the Pacific Northwest. From its magnificent size to its tiniest details, this museum is a treasure that reflects the South Sound’s vivacious community.

The New Hands On Children’s Museum

Address: 414 Jefferson St. N.E., Olympia

Cost: General Admission (ages 2+), $9.95; seniors (62+) $7.95;

toddlers (12-23 months) $6.95 and babies (0-11 months) are free.

is the managing editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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