May 5, 2013

Fairy tales will come to life at Botanica

An interactive exhibit based on fairy tales will start a two-month run at Botanica on May 11.

An interactive exhibit based on fairy tales will start a two-month run at Botanica on May 11.

Once Upon a Time – “where fairy tales come to life” – is the work of Kale Hamel, the Wichita man known for his computer-animated light shows, including the one in the meadow by the Downing Children’s Garden during Illuminations. For this exhibit, which will debut at Botanica, his company has designed displays depicting six fairy tales. Kiosks will give a synopsis of the fairy tale, and children will be able to interact with each display.

In the “Three Little Pigs” display, the pigs’ houses will shake and rattle as the wolf tries to blow them down, according to Botanica. In “Jack and the Beanstalk,” a beanstalk will grow through the roof of the house.

The exhibit will cost $5 for ages 3 and up in addition to admission to Botanica, which is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12.

There will be an opening-night event Thursday that will be like a family picnic movie night, said Gabby Brandt of Botanica. The cost will be $10 and includes admission to the exhibit, an outdoor viewing of “The Princess Bride,” a scavenger hunt for children based on the movie, and pizza, frozen custard and popcorn. Reservations are required; call 316-264-0448.

The exhibit will run through July 7 and will be adjacent to the children’s garden (to the right as you’re entering the garden), under a canopy of trees. On Saturdays during its run, activities such as live performances, storytelling, puppet shows and art projects will take place in the children’s garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On the first weekend of the exhibit, admission will be free for mothers on Mother’s Day, May 12, and admission for everyone else will be $5. Other special events that day will include a rose expo, a daylily sale and an iris show.

The exhibit will be open during Botanica’s regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, with hours extended to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, see Botanica’s website, botanica.org.

Botanica has other new activities coming up, director Marty Miller said: Composition, a two-day art and music festival July 20 and 21 that Miller hopes will grow to eventually take over Sim Park (call 316-264-0448 if you’re interested in providing art or music), and a Night Market on Aug. 10 based on a type of festival in China that will involve Chinese culture and food and will be a fundraiser for Botanica’s planned Chinese garden.

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