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“The Amazing Castle™” Returns to Minnesota Children’s Museum Sept. 17

SAINT PAUL, MINN. – Sept. 15, 2022 – Get ready to travel back in time to a magical place where medieval storybook characters come to life. The popular special exhibit “The Amazing Castle™” returns to Minnesota Children’s Museum Sept. 17. This is the first time the exhibit has been seen in the Twin Cities since 2015.

Step inside the castle and get to know the characters who make this wonderful castle a community. In this hands-on exhibit, children don costumes and engage in role-play by becoming lords and ladies, castle villagers or even HiJinx the Jester. Visitors try their hands in the Royal Workshops with Trim the Tailor or Gable the Carpenter. After picking vegetables in the garden, kids tote them to the Great Hall to cook up a royal meal or visit the tower to wake Herald, the sleeping dragon.

Exhibit Features

As visitors explore “The Amazing Castle” and its eight themed areas, they encounter graphic panels introducing seven citizens who are part of the castle community. From entertaining to sewing, each citizen has a special job to do.

Exhibit Entry and Big Book – From the moment visitors walk through the entrance to “The Amazing Castle,” they are transported to a magical time and place—and the fantasy begins! Lord Ben and Lady Evolent welcome children and adults and make sure the castle is a safe and healthy place to live. Visitors can begin their adventure by reading the story of “The Amazing Castle,” which introduces the castle citizens and depicts the interconnectedness of those living within its walls.

The Keep – The Keep is a fortress sure to be enjoyed by our youngest royals. Toddlers create a miniature, magical community in a castle-inspired dollhouse, build their own fortress out of stone blocks and play with a castle busy wall.

The Great Hall and Garden – Friends and family take a seat at the royal table while children prepare a wonderful, magical meal with Kipper the Cook. They put on an apron and select ingredients from a larder stocked with bread, vegetables and fruits. Or, they join Posey the Gardener in the royal garden, where visitors pick and plant vegetables and gather eggs from a hen in the garden shed. To prepare and cook their meal, children use wooden bowls, cooking utensils and a fireplace complete with a glowing fire, a spit and a cauldron. When the meal is ready, kids serve their friends and family a heaping helping on wooden plates.

Royal Puppet Theatre – Children and adults become castle entertainers when they visit HiJinx the Jester in the Royal Puppet Theatre. Visitors present a puppet show using castle character puppets. Children pick out a fancy robe, pull up a throne and become the Lord or Lady, or don the jester’s costume and entertain the crowd.

The Royal Workshops – In the Tailor Shop, children and adults try their hand at repairing and making clothing for all the castle citizens with Trim the Tailor. Visitors play a game and design costumes, from sensible to ridiculous, by mixing and matching puzzle pieces. Children also create their own outfits and discover how silly their costumes appear when they look at themselves in a distorted mirror.

After visiting the Tailor Shop, children and adults head over to the Carpenter’s Shop, grab a work apron and help Gable the Carpenter build a simple table or chair using mortise and tenon construction, or put together something of their own design.

After assisting Gable, children join Synge the Blacksmith in the Blacksmith Shop and help her affix a metal patch to the hole in Kipper’s big iron cauldron. Visitors also pretend to repair iron tools using a stone forge with glowing coals, a water bucket and Synge’s anvil.

The Dragon Tower – The Dragon Tower is home to Herald the Dragon, who announces important information to the citizens of “The Amazing Castle.” But Herald keeps falling asleep and needs to be awakened frequently. Visitors love waking Herald, who rises from the top of the tower, by matching each of the six electronic castle character puzzle pieces with his or her appropriate tool or symbol.

“The Amazing Castle™” runs through Jan. 8, 2023, in the Special Exhibits Gallery on the fourth floor of Minnesota Children’s Museum. Admission to the exhibit is included in general admission. Museum admission is $16 per person for ages 1 to 101. Museum members get in free. Tickets are available at https://mcm.org/tickets.

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