Our exhibits focus on building cognitive, physical, social and creative skills through play.

Please supervise your child at all times, help them engage in positive social play with others and ensure they are safe when trying new activities such as climbing and sliding. 

Featured exhibit: Sierra Settlers

Sierra Settlers is an imaginary play installation where children can travel to Truckee on the train, shop at the Chinese Herb Shop for dinner, pick up their pots and pans in the blacksmith shop and reserve a room in the Boarding House.  The exhibit theme is during the Transcontinental Railroad in Truckee around 1850-1900. The exhibit focus is on child development and learning through play. Each element is designed to help a child develop their social-emotional skills, fine and gross motor skills, and cognitive and creative development.

Thanks to major support from First 5 Placer County, Lahontan Community Foundation, Walton’s Grizzly Lodge/Stein Family Foundation, Martis Camp Community Foundation,  Mountain View Construction, and Visionary Circle Members.

Special thanks to the exhibits committee and volunteers who created this handmade exhibit: Suzanne Montgomery, Ann Tavan, Ileana Vokel, Maggie Schumacher, Alice Meng, Jerry Johnson, Brooke Bishop, Susie Alexander, Mace Maciel, Spin Shaffer, Carol Meagher, Jen Parker, Karla Garcia, Mayra Colmenarez, and many helpers! We love you!
Girl pretending in play shop
kid playing in toddler area

Indoor Play Structure

The Indoor Play Structure has a slide. It’s a great place for kids to use up all that energy and is an excellent tool for your children to gain gross motor skill development – especially during winter when getting outside is difficult due to inclement weather. The stairs to the slide are easy enough for younger visitors to navigate. This part of the museum also has a custom train table and magnetic building tiles an Air Flow exhibit and an Infant Area.

The Play Structure was included in the museum because children entering kindergarten in our schools achieved below the national average for gross motor skill development. Thanks to First 5 Placer and First 5 Nevada County for supporting the museum and this installation.

Infant Area

The Infant Area is an exhibit for visitors from 0 to 18 months of age. In this aquatic- and nature-themed area, your baby can practice rolling, crawling, climbing, cruising and all-around play in a safe environment.

Note: Children over 18 months are not allowed in this area. This area is designed for infants and their parents and must be kept as clean as possible. Help us make this area enjoyable for babies and their caregivers.

baby on blue matte looking at toy
little girl painting

Art Studio

The Art Studio has exploratory art activities for you and your child any time the museum is open. In this self-service area, visitors have access to washable paints, markers, crayons, paper in many sizes and colors. Children will also enjoy creating with clay and other materials. We offer classes in the studio, such as Messy Family Fun.

Nature Play Area

Our outdoor natural play-scape is where children can pump water into the stream and build in the sand pit, make mud pies in the mud kitchen and plant in the garden. Watch for special nature programs about bugs and animals after the snow melts. This is open for 3 seasons and closed in winter.

Outdoor play area mud kitchen
kids play with slime

Science Lab

Drop into our Scientastic lab anytime and check out the hands-on science activities and tools for self-guided science fun! This room has live animals, a child-friendly microscope, building materials and a light table. This area is also the lunch room.

Exhibit areas created by enthusiastic volunteer parents, grandparents and community members. The following people have spent years  helping to create engaging learning exhibits for our children. We are grateful. 

  • Jerry Johnson
  • Suzanne Montgomery
  • Maggie Schumacher
  • Ann Tavan
  • Spin Shaffer

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