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"Wegmans Wonderplace" To Debut At The Smithsonian

Officials from Wegmans will be in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to help the Smithsonian Institution cut the ribbon on a new gallery on the National Mall, designed for children up to 6 years old.

It’s called “WegmansWonderplace,” and the 1,700 square foot facility is located in the museum’s new Innovation Wing. Officials say it will provide “the youngest historians” with age-appropriate activities and experiences for the next 20 years.

The Wonderplace gallery will feature more than 100 objects and will combine play-based interdisciplinary experiences with artifact displays and hands-on activities including a kid-sized Julia Child’s kitchen.

Project director for this exhibit is Megan Smith and she says the Smithsonian feels that it's good to have a display like this that caters to young kids. 

“I think a lot of parents and adult caregivers are sometimes intimidated and think that museums aren’t a great place to bring their kids , that, oh, maybe they’ll make noise, maybe they’ll touch  things, and what we wanted to do is show that museums are fabulous places for young kids; here at the Smithsonian we love this audience, we love our little kids.”

Among the guests at Wednesday’s event are David Skorton, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, John Gray, who is the director of the National Museum of National History, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman.

As part of the announcement, Wegmans is also releasing its 100th anniversary logo, highlighting the family’s ownership since 1916.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.