Two children using telescopes

New FIG play spaces open in 2021

The Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) has been refreshed for our 2021 reopening! During our year-long closure due to COVID-19, staff took the opportunity to update the FIG with new features. From a river adventure to a lookout tower, there are now even more opportunities to learn and play. Read on to explore some of the exciting new FIG play spaces.

Interactive LumoPlay experience

One of the main additions to the FIG is our LUMOplay interactive playground experience. Using a floor projector and motion sensor, moving graphics appear on the ground and react to gestures and movements.

“You basically just have to walk into the space, and it comes alive,” explains FIG Supervisor Susan Buck.

With LUMOplay, the FIG has access to tons of designs that can be projected for interactive fun. For example, kids can jump on dinosaur eggs to help them hatch or herd animals into a barn. LUMOplay even has interactive games to play, all hands free.

Skills: encourages physical activity, coordination, movement, sensory experience.

River adventure

Our river adventure offers tons of fun for littles ones to enjoy! Kids can jump around the river designing their own path thanks to movable steppingstones made of heavy-duty plastic. They can also fish off the bridge and catch magnetic wooden fish. The new steppingstones give children more room to play and jump around.

Skills: weight transference, coordination, balance, strength, practice moving with purpose

Lookout tower

New to the forest area is a lookout tower built by Preparator Paul Brower. The tower is meant to replicate one of the many fire lookout towers in the Pacific Northwest.

The lookout platform features two telescopes at different heights. Children can use the telescopes to play I Spy looking for animals throughout the FIG. Will they spot an owl hiding in the tree or a wolverine chasing its prey? Will they warn us of approaching storms or a wolf howling in the distance? Imaginations will run wild!

Skills: encourages physical activity, imaginative play, communication skills, cooperation

Two children using telescopes

Bug area

Next, children can investigate real bugs encased in resin using a magnifying glass on our light table. They can also get an up-close look at bug x-rays. Come see the fascinating bugs on loan from Merrill Peterson, a biology professor at Western Washington University. There are two cases, one of native bugs and the other of camouflaged bugs. We also have an Asian giant hornet on display!

Skills: investigations, comparisons, biology, natural curiosity about the world.

Toddler track

Our toddler area is now focused on cars! Children can ride on or push a toy car through an obstacle course they create with colorful cones. Safe but challenging physical play helps kids build strength and develop their balance. The area also includes a train table donated by the Railroad Museum that we transitioned into a car track.

Skills: coordination, movement, experimentation, balance, imaginative play

New reservation system

In addition to our new FIG play spaces, there is also a new reservation system. When the FIG reopened April 1, it did so with reduced hours and at 25% capacity. All visitors (including members) must ­make a reservation to visit the FIG. Each reservation is for two hours and available Thursday – Saturday at two time slots: noon – 2pm or 2:30 – 4:30pm. Each reservation is for up to 6 people.

Learn more about the FIG and how reservations work here.

We look forward to seeing you in the FIG!