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Play All Day!

A museum that is all about play just got bigger—much bigger!

Giant Scrabble tiles spell the word play next to a giant Monopoly dog among colorful paths and plantings outside of a building.

Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York

The Hasbro Game Park at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

The Strong National Museum of Play takes fun very seriously. That’s why the museum recently got bigger—a lot bigger.

The Strong Museum, which is in Rochester, New York, expanded by 90,000 square feet (8,000 square meters)! Now, visitors have more ways than ever to learn about the history of play, or just to play.

A five-headed dragon emerges from a column with a Dungeons and Dragons sign on it.

Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York

The Strong Museum has everything—even dragons!

The museum has been putting smiles on the faces of kids, and many grown-ups, since it opened in 1982. There’s all kinds of stuff to do, including a room full of pinball machines, a play lab, a butterfly garden, and a ropes course. The expansion includes part of the ESL Digital Worlds exhibit, which explores the history of video games. As visitors enter the exhibit, they see a 20-foot-high (6-meter-high) version of the Donkey Kong arcade game. And yes, it works!

Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York

Want to play some Donkey Kong?

Outside, there’s the Hasbro Game Park, which has enormous Monopoly pieces and Jenga blocks to climb on. There are even giant Simon and Chutes and Ladders games you can play.

John-Paul Dyson is the museum’s vice president for exhibits. “There are so many areas you can [visit], whether it’s all about video games or something else you want to do,” Dyson told ABC-TV. “It’s fun for the whole family.”

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Did You Know?

A woman sits in an armchair with figurines on a table in front of her and a card reading Mas. Homer Strong’s World Famous Collection of Dollhouses behind her.

From the Margaret Woodbury Strong Collection. Courtesy of The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York. Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The idea for the Strong National Museum of Play came from Margaret Woodbury Strong, a Rochester resident who had a large collection of dolls and toys. Strong started to invite the public to see her collection. Before she died, she asked that the collection become a museum and set aside the money to build it.

Play, Your Way!

A thought bubble with photos of different forms of fun and play such as a treehouse and a playground above three pensive children.

Dreamstime: Oleksii Spesyvtsev, Bundit Minramun, Shawn Zhang, Jess Yu, Dugwy, Gerardo Francisco Rostro Ocampo, Imaengine, Ryhor Bruyeu, Jason Finn, Cageun2005, Gabriel Constantinescu, VinhDao, Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Did you know that playing is healthy? Experts say that playing helps kids develop their creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. And by playing with others, kids learn how to work together and get along. Plus, playing is just plain fun.

It’s no wonder why the Strong National Museum of Play is getting bigger and bigger!

Suppose you designed a play space for kids your age. What would it include? There are no limits on this imaginary play space, so think BIG.

Museum Magic

© Bo Li, Linnaea Mallette, R. Gino Santa Maria—Shutterfree, Llc, Anastassiya Bornstein/Dreamstime.com; © Patrick, Eric BVD/stock.adobe.com; © Carl Court, EThamPhoto—The Image Bank/Getty Images; © James Kirkikis, gob_cu/Shutterstock.com; Bob Nichols/U.S. Department of Agriculture; Pete Souza—Official White House Photo; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Have you ever been to a museum? A museum is a place where people can learn about something that is interesting to them. There are art museums, science museums, and, of course, play museums. You can learn more at Britannica School.

Word of the Day Icon

Word of the Day

frolic

Part of speech:

verb

Definition:

: to play and move about happily

Definitions provided by
Merriam-Webster Logo
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Play

Can you find all the things to play with?

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