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Great Plains Zoo to Debut "Brain Play", a Limited-Time Indoor Exhibit for Kids


January 17, 2017

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History will host Brain Play, a limited-time, hands-on exhibit for children of all ages. The exhibit, opening on Friday, January 27, will be located in the Great Room of the Delbridge Museum of Natural History.

The exhibit features a number of hands-on activities for children, including:

  • STEM Play: Preschoolers to late-elementary aged children can build, test and tinker with Magna-Tiles, Squishy Circuits, and a variety of building toys, including a LEGO wall.

  • Virtual Reality area: The whole family can interact with Arctic animals in a virtual reality experience.

  • Learning Log: Kids can crawl through an over-sized log with real-life animals, including a Tomato Frog, Marine Toad, Pancake Tortoise, and Tarantula. 

  • Imagination Playground: Preschoolers and elementary school-aged children can build, destroy, and start all over again with over-sized foam blocks.

  • Pretend Play: Toddlers and preschoolers can role play in a Little Tikes neighborhood with play houses and cars with related accessories.

  • Music area: Children of all ages can experiment with steel drums, guitar, floor keyboard, and various percussion instruments including maracas, xylophones, and shakers.

  • Physical Play: Children can get active with a kid-sized (and safe) slackline and over-sized bowling set.

  • Reading Area:  All children will enjoy a reading nook with kid-sized tents, books and seating.

  • Infant/Early Toddler Area: The Zoo’s youngest visitors can explore age-appropriate books, bouncing toys, and gross motor activities for very young children.

“The Zoo has hosted several successful temporary exhibits in the Delbridge Museum of Natural History, and we know that Brain Play is going to be a huge hit with area children and families,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo. “Brain Play truly offers something for every child. We can’t wait to see children interact with family favorites like Magna Tiles and musical instruments, and then discover something new in the virtual reality area or the Learning Log.”

The exhibit also features an area for families to relax and enjoy snacks, or coffee, lattes, or other beverages from the Zoo’s Gift Shop coffee bar. Brain Play is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission to the exhibit is free for Zoo members; non-member admission is $3, plus the Zoo admission. The exhibit will remain open through the Spring.

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with grounds clearing at 5 p.m. Visit us online at or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.