Bird
Student dressed in costume of squirrel exiting rotting log in Imaginarium
panorama of Imaginarium
student dressed as seahorse in front of Imaginarium Ocean scene

Imaginarium

The Imaginarium is designed for children, ages 3 to 8, and their friends and families.  Its major theme is habitat, a term that refers to the physical place where an animal lives.  Three major habitat types—forests, grasslands, and aquatic systems—dominate the room.  Each includes multiple images, for a total of seven habitats: a mature beech-maple forest in summer, that same forest in winter, and the montane cloud forest of Costa Rica; a North American prairie and the savannah of equatorial Africa; and a pond/wetland in southwestern Ohio and a tropical coral reef.

Because exploration and play are key to the way young children learn, we invite visitors to explore to their heart’s content and have fun!  Children can match resident and migratory animals to each habitat, or they can don one of 14 different animal costumes, instantly transforming themselves into a shark, an owl, a turtle, a monarch butterfly, and more.  They can crawl through a hollow log; sit in a larger-than-life wood thrush’s nest; and investigate a honeybee hive found in a tree stump.  They can closely observe small fish and invertebrates in a large fish tank; see how they “measure up” against several species of tallgrass prairie plants; and examine a typical prairie soil profile.

To learn more about the animals featured in this room, see Natural Histories of the Creatures of the Imaginarium.  Also, see A Guide to the Imaginarium. Both publications are located on the hallway door of the Imaginarium.