The Family Museum’s new outdoor exhibit is full of imagination for kids

As a mom, there’s a lot to love about the Quad Cities.

And near the top of the list is the Family Museum in Bettendorf. Great for locals and visitors alike, this is one of my own family’s favorite spots to spend a morning (or an entire day). While it made my top list of cabin-busters, it’s also worth a visit in warmer weather.

And this is even more true now – the Family Museum recently opened their new aviation-themed outdoor play structure. And this is way more than a simple outdoor play structure.

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While it does have some elements of great local parks – lots of tunnels, stairs, slides and ladders – there are also more opportunities for kids to explore, imagine and learn.

The space really aligns with the other (incredible) indoor spaces at the museum – all of which encourage and inspire kids to imagine and play. Indoors, kids can pretend to be a veterinarian, postal worker, grocery store clerk, pizza baker, farmer and more.

In the new outdoor space, kids are transported into the world of aviation.

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The exhibit resembles an airplane and invites children to fly or ride to wherever their imaginations take them. This one-of-a-kind installation includes steps resembling luggage, seats for pilot and co-pilot, and a wheelchair accessible glider.

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During our trip, the adventure began when we spotted a box of dress-up clothes. My preschooler grabbed the pilot’s jacket and hat.

After a few loops around the equipment, he climbed into the cockpit and set out to fly all over the world.

“Where do lions live, momma?” he asked.

“African lions live in Africa,” I answered.

“To Africa!” he exclaimed to his friend Anderson, at his right in the cockpit.

After visiting the savannah, they set off to Hawaii to see volcanoes. And then to Alaska to find an igloo. The new plane exhibit was a perfect catalyst to a morning spent exploring the world – from his own imagination.

Wanna check it out yourself?

Hop over to the Family Museum for more information and to plan your visit.

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About the author

Kim Woodward Kim Woodward is a wife, mom, and freelance writer living with her husband and son in a barn in rural Geneseo, Illinois. A notorious dabbler and DIYer, she shares her projects and adventures at NewlyWoodwards.com, and contributes to QuadCityMomsBlog.com. A native of the Quad Cities, she loves setting out on local adventures and discovering hidden gems in the area. She’s always on the lookout for the best live music, family-friendly activities, and cup of coffee.

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