Washington Pavilion opens interactive climbing play area

The Washington Pavilion has unveiled the single largest exhibit addition to the Kirby Science Discovery Centre (KSDC) since its opening in 1999. The Prehistoric Adventure Climber offers community area families an extraordinary opportunity to learn about dinosaurs, earth science, paleontology and fitness while exploring tunnels, bones, caves, bridges, slides and more.

Located on the KSDC fourth floor, the themed climber exhibit is two stories high with four levels extending 18 feet into the air, offering a number of themed interactive experiences.

The Washington Pavilion, in partnership with the David B. Jones Foundation and fourth floor sponsor Sanford Health, created the climber to promote physical activity as well as provide education on dinosaurs.

“After two years of planning and preparation, we are thrilled to present the biggest indoor climbing structure in Sioux Falls. This is another example of the value we have been placing in continuously updating and renovating the Kirby Science Discovery Centre into a world class museum,” said Darrin Smith, Washington Pavilion President and CEO. “The climber offers floor-to-ceiling fun and learning for kids of all ages.”

Visitors enter through a tunnel of dinosaur bones and explore passageways on four different levels. They can crawl through crates, discover caves and climb numerous corridors on their quest to reach the top of the towering structure. They can then glide back down to the bottom on either the easy, fun and fast 7-foot turbo tube slide or race a friend down on the side-by-side slides.

Guests can imagine how dinosaurs roared when using the talk tubes to transmit their voices to different areas of the climber. The exhibit includes a dozen other interactives such as telescopes, puzzles and more, with a highlight being filling buckets with dinosaur bones and using a pulley system to transfer them overhead to the other side. The exhibit’s prehistoric theme extends through the colours and textures as users climb sedimentary rocks and find fossils.

Areas of this climber will be ADA-accessible, meaning kids of all ages and abilities can use the exhibit.

“The Prehistoric Adventure Climber offers an experience like nothing we have seen before in our community. We wanted an exhibit with an original design, a connection to science and a real wow factor,” says Brandon Hanson, Washington Pavilion director of Museums. “The enormity of the exhibit plus the educational and fitness benefits far surpassed our wildest dreams.”

The new addition to the Kirby Science Discovery Center will complement the third-floor paleontology exhibits, Dinosaur Discovery, as well as the health and wellness themed HealthQuest by Sanford and the Scheels Rock Wall on fourth floor.

This new exhibit is possible due to the support of fourth floor sponsor Sanford Health and a generous grant from the David B. Jones Foundation. “We are so grateful to our tremendous sponsors and partners who so generously help us deliver our mission to this community,” said Kerri DeGraff, chief business development officer. “David B. Jones Foundation has provided support for this specific exhibit and Sanford Health is the sponsor of the fourth floor dedicated to health and wellness. Without their commitments, this incredible new and unique climber wouldn’t have been possible.”

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