Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sprinkles of Fun; Children's Museum Opens in Mandarin

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sprinkles of Fun; Children's Museum Opens in Mandarin

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

One room is dominated by an inflatable moon walk, as well as a trampoline and giant-size Tinkertoys.

In another, Shands Jacksonville has supplied a doctor's examination table, medical gurney, X-rays and a backlit viewing screen, while a tot-sized Farmer's Market is one door away, complete with kid-sized pizza parlor.

Sounds like a pre-schooler's playtime dream.

But it's also the Karpeles Manuscript Library's new Sprinkles' Children's Museum, which opened Tuesday in the northeast corner of the Mandarin Landing Shopping Center at 10601-1 San Jose Blvd.

A suburban companion to the original Sprinkles' Children's Museum at the Karpeles at 101 W. First St., the new facility "is not a look museum -- it is an educational playground," said director Cheryl Alleman. It is aimed at parents who don't want to drive downtown to find a fun way to let their children "experiment with career choices," she added.

"This museum has tried to offer 'What do you want to be when you grow up?,' letting you pretend you are a builder or gymnast. It really, truly is a play museum and a place for having fun," she said opening day. "The original is very successful, but we can't justify opening in the afternoons because it is so far from some schools. But because the Mandarin location is so close to schools and homes, it will be open all day."

Orange Park resident Sandra Boatright agreed, as daughter Sara offered her a plastic pizza in the museum's Farmer's Market.

"We were traveling downtown to visit, but this is a lot closer for us, and she loves it," Boatright said. "It is much easier, and the location is better. It takes 10 minutes to get here vs. a half-hour."

The nation's seven Karpeles Libraries were set up by David and Marsha Karpeles in Buffalo and Newburgh, N.Y., Charleston, Duluth, Jacksonville, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Tacoma, Wash., to preserve original historical literature, science, religion, history and art manuscripts and documents.***Alleman said she realized that a museum full of documents might not interest a child, so she started the original Sprinkles museum on the Karpeles' first floor, with hands-on exhibits open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. She decided to open the suburban location to better serve the community.

The result is a 2,500-square-foot storefront with a fenced-in 6,000-square-foot outdoor play area with 10-foot-by-20-foot covered sandbox. It has an activities center designed to look like a neighborhood, with toddler-sized Little Tykes cars, buildings and street signs. There is also an area for birthday parties and a video game corner inside.

For $3.50 per person, parents can let their children jump around the indoor playground, play castanets and gongs in a music room or face-paint in the sink-equipped arts and crafts room. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.