The boys and I were invited to attend a media preview and luncheon for the very cool new exhibit Play! at The Autry. We jumped at the chance. As much as we enjoyed The Autry last month, we knew we just had to go back.
"The new Autry exhibition looks at play as an experience shared by children in the American West across cultures, places and times."
We arrived early, as usual, and had the chance to explore other exhibits while we waited to get our sneak peak of Play! The rest of the museum is so much fun, but we were anxious to see what was behind the closed doors that led to a whimsical world of Play!
When it was time, we were greeted by W. Richard West Jr., CEO of The Autry, who spoke a bit about how this exhibit ties into The Autry's "storytelling" of the American West. He warned us that when those doors opened, we would be in a completely different world than the one we were in at the moment... He was not fibbing.
As soon as the doors opened, we were immersed in a world that appealed to almost every sense. Playful sounds streamed through the speakers, including the sound of light sabers powering on. A sounds that my little Star-Wars-obsessed child heard as soon as he stepped foot in the door; a sounds that got him more excited to explore than he already was.
The first room that we walked into was the "Go Outside!". It was lush, green, had cities, trees, and even a bear cave... well, a version of each that only beautiful artistic minds could create.
After about twenty minutes of exploring and playing in the first room, we finally decided to move on to the next part of the exhibit, "Learning to Be a Grown-up".
The "Learning to Be a Grown-up" room was basically a miniature house. Miniature living room, dining room, kids rooms and so on. It was just the right size for both of my boys. (Please note, Skyler would NOT keep his shoes on because of all of the different textures that he just had to feel with his toesies. But, since we were the first to see this magical exhibit, the floors were clean and I let him. No tootsies were hurt in the making of this blog).
Next, the boys sat down to play with LEGO blocks.
I had to beg them to move on to the next area, but they were happy when they finally did.
The Play! exhibition has so many different areas for kids to explore. Everything is hands on and ready for play. Sensory play is the name of the game and my guys loved it!
They got to play video games...
They got to see old Star Wars action figures and play sets, and beg for me to purchase said play sets.
They got to go on a hunt for these little peep holes that showed them whimsical images of squirrels in space, and wolves riding bicycles through the park on a sunny day.
They got to dress up and change a theatre stage from castles to rocket ships, and put on a play for mama.
And once again, they got to touch surfaces and see colors and hear sounds that make them happy.
The boys and I had a fabulous time at this very special exhibit. The cherry on top was the luncheon because we got to meet a group of incredible women; bloggers, influencers, children's clothing designers and makers, but most of all, mothers.
Play! opens to the public this Father's Day, June 18th, 2017. It runs through January 7th, 2018. It is an exhibition that it is beautifully designed and curated, and most of all, it is irresistible to little hands and eyes that want to touch and see everything there is to explore.