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.
Finally, it was our turn. We were welcomed in by some quirky characters who introduced us to the place.
In the first room, we were encouraged to brainstorm ideas for new toys and write them on the walls.
Then we got to build some prototypes with a strange (but colorful) polymer modeling medium.
A clock goes off every 5 minutes, and you are ushered into the next area.
After 5 minutes, we headed over to the Grow Snow laboratory.
The kids got to help “grow snow”.
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.
O7 even checked the temperature to see if the snow was cold (it was!)
After 5 minutes, we headed over to the last
sales pitch play area.
More construction toys, but these had humanoid parts (hands, feet, etc).
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.
Good thing he works in a toy shop.
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.
Of course, there was a very nice photo op.
Funny thing, though: the door from Mr. Kringle’s workshop exits through the gift shop.
Oh, well. On to Chicago!