An early, inside look at Kidzeum

    An early, inside look at Kidzeum. (WICS)

    It's a project that's been talked about in Springfield for years, and after more than a decade, Kidzeum of Health and Science is about to open.

    "We wanted to create a playful experience for families, but we wanted them to learn relevant information because at that time, childhood obesity was at an all-time high," Kidzeum Board President Rachel Thomson said.

    The idea first started back in 2004.

    But first, some kids got the chance to check out the exhibits early.

    At the healthy earth gallery, kids can learn about our natural environment, from erosion to using water for fun.

    "There's different things you get to see and learn about. The brain and the heart - it makes learning fun," visitors Bella and Mila said.

    It's a fun partnership for sponsors such as HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital, who donated more than $1 million to the project.

    " It gives kids another option to learn about health and wellness in a fun environment and to learn about how their body works and healthcare so it's less scary when they do come to the hospital, they have a little bit more knowledge around that," Erica Johnson, of HSHS St. John's, said.

    Kidzeum aims to bring an economic boost to downtown and Adams Street. It officially opens Saturday, July 21.

    The museum expects 120,000 visitors a year, bringing $3 million to the Springfield economy.

    Kidzeum is located at 412 E Adams St. in Springfield.

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