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The Johnstown Children's Museum is a new project of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association. This museum is located on the third floor of the Heritage Discovery Center, and allows children to learn through play about Johnstown's geography, history, culture, industry and more.
Photos and descriptions of the exhibits are below, but we invite you to click here for a virtual tour of the museum on JAHA's YouTube channel!
To receive regular updates about museum programming, special events and workshops, join our e-mail newsletter list; click "Johnstown Children's Museum/children's programming" and any other categories of JAHA-sponsored events and programs that are of interest to you.
Johnstown Timewarp -- This area introduces visitors into the museum and its themes -- as the sign says, "Where we live shapes who we are. Who we are shapes where we live." Johnstown residents will recognize some of the buildings and landmarks from Johnstown's past and present, including City Hall, Morley's Dog and the Stone Bridge.
Blocks Area -- The Johnstown Timewarp features an area with blocks and other wooden toys for free play.
Morley's Dog Cafe -- This quiet corner is a place for parents and caregivers to relax while their children explore the museum. Hands-on activities and reading programs will be presented here as well.
The Water Room -- Most of the water room's exhibits allow children to play with water, learning about concepts like dam-building, municipal plumbing, rain in mountains and valleys, acid rain, and native fish. Hand dryers will help kids dry off after the fun.
The Overlook Garden -- Come out on the rooftop terraces of the Heritage Discovery Center to see displays of native Pennsylvania plants! There are plants that like shade, part sun, full sun, and that live in water, along with tables for kids to work with them. A rain meter keeps track of how much rain we get each month. Enjoy the spectacular view of Cambria City and the Conemaugh Gap -- and use the telescope to take a closer look.
The Inclimber -- The climber is a huge reproduction of Yoder Hill, including mine tunnels to climb high toward the ceiling. Inside the "mine," kids will have the opportunity to dress up like coal miners, including hard hats with lights, orange vests, and (plastic) coal picks! An experienced coal miner will talk to you about safety, exhibits about the kinds of rocks found in a mine, and "talking artifacts" -- including a miner's lunch pail. Watch out for the talking mine rats! When you reach the top, take a "coal shute" slide down, where you'll land in a padded coal car that's full of "coal."The Inclimber also features a replica of the Inclined Plane -- go into the red control house to make it go up and down the hill!
City Works -- Compare maps from different periods in Johnstown's history. Try your hand at laying out a city in the hills, using special tables that reflect Johnstown's topography and models of houses, industrial buildings, landmarks and more.
The Steel Mill -- The steel industry has played a vital role in Johnstown's past and present. In this section of the museum, kids can try their hand at making pattern molds, roleplay being the boss or worker with costumes, and more.
Steel Mill Manager Game -- One of several features in the steel mill area is this game for two people -- see who does the best job managing a steel mill by keeping all the jobs filled during every shift! Wait, it's a lot harder than it looks. . .
The Kitchen -- A play kitchen, complete with displays of historic kitchen equipment like an antique coffee grinder! Kids can "cook" and experience some of the special food traditions of this region through a fun free play area.
The Kitchen Table -- Pick one of three ethnic dishes to "serve" on this special kitchen table, and a projection is shown -- you'll eavesdrop on the family's conversation, and see what else they're having for dinner.
The General Store -- Kids are given a "paycheck" and invited to shop for what they need -- will they have enough money to purchase everything? Be a shopper or a cashier and practice your math skills!
The Mix-Master Studio-- Mix your own "Johnstown soundtrack" using sounds, music and rhythms. Each button on the console adds music, sounds of industry, sounds at home, nature sounds, and just about any sound you might find "hear in Johnstown!"
The Fashion Show -- Kids can use a touchscreen to mix and match outfits from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s; when they're done, a computer-generated figure "walks" out onto a projection screen wearing the outfit they've chosen. Kids can then choose matching dress-up clothes and walk out on a lit runway themselves!