Friday, March 12, 2004
Last week we discovered The Children's Museum of Portland, a place so neat that you'll immediately curse your childhood for not having any place like this to go. Imagine if your nearest Science museum for kids did away with the pretense of trying to teach anything and just focused on making the exhibits sprawling and fun. Then throw in several storytimes and puppet shows. Again, if I ever find batteries for my camera, I'll post some pictures of it-- every sizable city in the country should have a place like this.
Currently the museum is featuring the travelling Mr.Rogers' Neighborhood exhibit. I was surprised that the kids all knew the show, I guess I assumed it stopped when Mr. Rogers died about a year ago. In fact, it's rerunning regularly, and the mantle has been taken up by David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on the show. So as soon as we find out about this place, we also get to see Mr. McFeely live, leading in some songs and breaking out Daniel Striped Tiger on his arm. While I'm still trying to figure out how a children's show ended up with a man named Mister McFeely, he's delighting the kids with puppet guests from the Land of Make Believe. I like the way children are so willing to suspend disbelief that they'll focus on the puppet even when the person is standing right there with his arm going into the thing. I also liked watching the parents talking to the guest about watching him in their youth, more awestruck than their children.
It was a great time, McFeely knows how to work a crowd. And they had the Trolley there! And King Friday! And, and...