Kringle’s Inventionasium

Today we are heading to Chicago to visit my sister and her family.  On our way, we stopped for an early holiday surprise: Kringle’s Inventionasium at Tower City in Cleveland.

This is a cute, gimmicky experience designed to get kids excited about a very expensive collection of toys that they play with while supposedly “helping” Kris Kringle invent new toys.  I knew this going in, but it was still a lot of fun.

We had to wait outside for our “appointment time”.  Appointments are every 5 minutes.  5 minutes takes way longer when you are waiting for something exciting.

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Finally, it was our turn. We were welcomed in by some quirky characters who introduced us to the place.

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In the first room, we were encouraged to brainstorm ideas for new toys and write them on the walls.

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Then we got to build some prototypes with a strange (but colorful) polymer modeling medium.

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A clock goes off every 5 minutes, and you are ushered into the next area.

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Here, kids get to play with pieces of a construction set (available for sale in the gift shop, of course).
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After 5 minutes, we headed over to the Grow Snow laboratory.

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The kids got to help “grow snow”.

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They added their snow to a bin of other snow. Not sure what will happen to all the snow, but they definitely had a lot. I don’t think Cleveland really wants any more.

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O7 even checked the temperature to see if the snow was cold (it was!)

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After 5 minutes, we headed over to the last sales pitch play area.

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More construction toys, but these had humanoid parts (hands, feet, etc).

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Finally, we learned that it was time for our appointment with Mr. Kringle. We just had to wait a few moments outside his office door.

 

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Good thing he works in a toy shop.

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Mr. Kringle was very nice and was happy to hear we were headed to Chicago. The girls wanted to make sure he knew we would be back home for Christmas, though.

 

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Of course, there was a very nice photo op.

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Funny thing, though: the door from Mr. Kringle’s workshop exits through the gift shop.

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Oh, well.  On to Chicago!

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