TEXARKANA, Texas — Here is your chance, kids, to imagine your most amazing amusement park, put it on paper and kindle your imagination.
At the Museum of Regional History on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Discovery Place Interactive Museum staff will host a Disney World Amusement Park Challenge. Children will create the blueprint for the greatest amusement park they envision.
Why Disney? Well, like the Texarkana Museums System, Walt Disney World is also celebrating a half-century this year. Fifty years ago, Disney World and its Magic Kingdom opened for the world.
Burgandy Farris, who serves as the Discovery Place manager, said the TMS is celebrating all things 1971 this year at the museum.
"Because it is our 50th anniversary, and so another place that opened in 1971 was Disney World. To kind of commemorate that, we're challenging kids to create their own amusement park," Farris said. "The kids will get a task sheet to help guide them with things that they need to have in their park and things to think about when creating it."
Youngsters will create a blueprint and then take it home to inspire a model or drawings and more with Legos, cardboard or other materials on hand. Drawing a blueprint can just be the start.
What can children consider when imagining that perfect amusement park?
"We will ask them for basic things, like what would you name it, would it have a mascot, employees," Farris said. Then there are more specific things in this thought exercise: How many water rides? How many children's rides? How many bathrooms?
"We'll be talking about some of the things that make Disney World as popular as it has been over the years and what makes it stand out from other amusement parks in the area that they may not have been to," said the museum manager, noting they aim to offer as many STEM projects as they can throughout the year.
"Things that kind of make kids think more than just a craft or something," Farris said.
Also coming up for the TMS is 1971 Hobbies, a Jan. 16 (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) event at the Ace of Clubs House. It's a chance to learn about and practice those 1970s hobbies: macrame key-chain and plant hanger, model car and latch hook pillowcase. Admission is $15 for that event.
Discovery Place Interactive Museum, although closed, is still presenting monthly events for local children. Visit the museum's Facebook Page or the website TexarkanaMuseums.org/Events for more information.
(Tickets: $5 per person, free for Texarkana Museums System members and children 3 and under. Register in advance at TexarkanaMuseums.org/Events. Advance registration is encouraged, not required. More info: 903-793-4831.)