For the next few months, a new interactive experience for toddlers and preschoolers adds vibrancy to the Lake Merritt-adjacent Junior Center of Art and Science. We previewed the WildChild exhibit this week and saw just how much engagement each element of this colorful kid lab offers.
Outside on the deck, there is an intriguing kinetic sculpture that invites kids to climb in, by virtue of being surrounded by a plastic curtain that is simply too tempting not to enter.
In the main art room, a variety of stations invite hands-on making, including salad spinners for spin-art.
Another room offers an intriguing, textured tunnel to enter, where the main attraction is a blue ball pit.
Plan your visit to the WildChild exhibit in Oakland
Admission to WildChild is $13 for children and $7 for adults who accompany children. While there are Instagrammable moments in this experience, it's truly about art for children and not appropriate for grade school children, teens or adults without a little one. It is like a Color Factory for toddlers; however, it is designed for them both in scale and interactivity.
Admission includes access to the rest of the Junior Center, where you'll find a toddler playroom with a beautiful view of Lake Merritt; a maker space with loads of supplies you can use to get creative; and, an animal visiting room with tanks of reptiles.
Hours: The Junior Center — and hence the WildChild exhibit — is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm. Friday – Sunday from 10-5. Closed on Mondays.
Location: Point your GPS to the Junior Center of Art and Science, the host of this exhibit, at 558 Bellevue in Oakland.
Parking: Enter the lot as if going to Children's Fairyland. There is a kiosk to pay cash to an attendant – I paid $2 for two hours. Metered street parking is available nearby on Perkins St, Grand Ave, and Bellevue Ave.
Follow @510families on Instagram: we'll be giving away some tickets to the WildChild exhibit!
WildChild will be open until February 2020 at which point certain elements will remain permanent fixtures of the Junior Center and some will be removed.