FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017


Kim Reiner
Marketing and PR Manager
Omaha Children's Museum
(402) 930-2356

Creative Arts Center On First Floor Will Close Starting April 10 For Construction
(Omaha, Neb.) - MARCH 31, 2017 -   The Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S. 20th St., announces it will begin construction on a new, permanent exhibit called Art Smart Center, which will incorporate messy with new technology in activities for children and families. The 2,800 square-foot will replace the Creative Arts Center on the first floor of the museum. The Creative Arts Center will close for construction beginning on Monday, April 10. The arts area will be closed for seven weeks, and reopen as the Art Smart Center on Saturday, May 27. While the arts center is under construction, pop-up art activities and programs will be held in the Science Showplace and Family Discovery Room, and face painting stations will be located in the Curiosity Corner.

"We designed the Art Smart Center to expand upon how children can experience and learn about creative arts," said Lindy Hoyer, executive director at Omaha Children's Museum. "Everything in the news space has been designed to engage the imagination of young children in fun and interactive ways, including some high tech experiences."

The centerpiece of the new exhibit space is Sketch Town. In this town created by children's imaginations, children will be able to draw an item, scan it, and then watch their art piece come to life as a part of a giant city projected on an 18-foot by 10-foot screen. The projection is interactive, so for example, a child touches a car or spaceship and it changes course.

The art space's redesign focus intentionally included more technological elements, allowing more flexibility in programming and creating new experiences for repeat visitors. Two areas that have a heavy technological component are called Moving With Light and Building With Light. In Moving With Light, children move along a tiled floor, creating a design out of tiles that light up. The space is 28 feet by 15 feet, allowing more than one child to play on the space at a time. Building With Light consists of four stations, each with LED grids for children create Tetris-like designs with colored LEDs. Part of the experience will be the perception of building with color as children stack pieces upon each other and seeing light transmitted from block to block. The new theater space will have added technological elements as well as costumes to encourage imaginative play. Children will be able to digitally change the projected backdrops, lights and sound effects from a sound booth near the stage.

Other Art Smart Center areas include a paint window for open-ended painting, a larger space for one of the museum's most popular  activities, face painting, and an all-new Tinker Lab. The Tinker Lab, which is an expanded Maker Space, includes a pottery wheel, sewing station, band saw, and loom, as well as iPads for stop motion animation. While materials will be readily available for most projects, the space is outfitted with safety mechanisms for machinery and youth-sized tools and googles for safety. 

Financial support from Sherwood Foundation, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Carol Gendler, and Pella made the Art Smart Center possible. 
To request an interview or a photo, please contact Kim Reiner, Marketing and PR Manager at Omaha Children's Museum, at 402-930-2356 or 

About Omaha Children's Museum
Since its inception in 1976, Omaha Children's Museum has been a special place where children can challenge themselves, discover how the world works and learn through play. The mission of Omaha Children's Museum is to engage the imagination and create excitement about learning. The museum's permanent exhibits include Charlie Campbell Science & Technology Center, Creative Arts Center including the Karen Levin Artist-in-Residence Studio, Imagination Playground and Walker Tire & Auto Service Center. In addition to its permanent exhibits, Omaha Children's Museum offers educational programs, traveling exhibitions, field trips, outreach programs, summer camps and early childhood programs.

For more information visit

Museum Information
500 S. 20th St.
Omaha, NE 68102
(402) 342-6164

Museum Admission
Members: FREE
Adults & Children: $12
Adults 60+: $11
Under 24 months: FREE

Museum Winter Hours (Now through May 26, 2017)
Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Tuesday through Friday, 9-10 a.m. Member Hour)
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and major holidays

Museum Summer Hours (May 27 through Sept. 3, 2017)
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Monday through Friday, 9-10 a.m. Member Hour)
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.