‘Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog’ debuts at Sloan Museum

FLINT — Sloan Museum, 1221 E. Kearsley St., welcomes the reddest exhibit ever as it hosts “Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog” through Dec. 30.

A colossal 9-foot Clifford with a tail to slide down welcomes visitors to his home on Birdwell Island, re-created in this immersive new exhibit. Sponsored locally by Hurley Children’s Hospital, the exhibit is filled with activities that families can enjoy together.

Tickets cost $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+), $6 for youth (2-11). Members are admitted free. Inspired by Scholastic Entertainment’s TV show “Clifford The Big Red Dog”© on PBS KIDS©, the exhibit offers numerous “paws-on” adventures that reinforce “Clifford’s Big Ideas”—ten simple life lessons designed to help young children navigate their world: share, play fair, have respect, work together, be responsible, be truthful, be kind, believe in yourself, be a good friend and help others.

Visitors can work together to fill Clifford’s big dog bowl, and gain self-confidence on stage with Clifford and his pals. Explore T-Bone’s beach, find buried treasure, and build a sandcastle.

Start a dance party and play instruments in the Musical Marina. Crawl through the tunnel in Cleo’s Backyard and try shape-sorting and matching activities. While the kids are busy laughing and learning with Clifford, parents will enjoy browsing the Norman Bridwell Art Retrospective and seeing 51 years (that’s 357 dog-years!) of artwork and stories.

The exhibits feature Birdwell Island locations come to life for the most visitor fun, including:

Birdwell Island Ferry: Visitors climb aboard the ferry and listen to seagulls as they approach Birdwell Island. Children and adults can join Victor and Pedro in the pilot house and try their hand at “steering” the ferry, navigating their way to Birdwell Island with the help of a three-dimensional interactive map of the island.

Samuel’s Fish and Chips Shack: Children and adults can enter Samuel’s Shack and role-play restaurant employees working together to restock the shelves, cook, clean, and serve. Kids can grab an order pad, take their families’ and friends’ orders and total their bills at the cash register.

Clifford’s Doghouse: A 9-foot Clifford greets visitors in his backyard outside his doghouse. Children can take a seat next to Emily Elizabeth on the giant paws of her big red best friend and slide down Clifford’s tail. Kids can “Be Responsible” by helping fill Clifford’s giant dog bowl with bones using a bone-shaped conveyor belt. Inside Clifford’s doghouse, visitors can create pictures, invitations, letters, and more using paper, crayons, pencils and other supplies. They can display their masterpieces in the doghouse, mail them to an Island resident, or take them home.

Cleo’s Backyard: The youngest visitors will love Cleo’s Backyard, designed especially for tots with a soft floor and pretend stone wall enclosure. Clifford’s friend Cleo encourages toddlers to crawl through a tunnel, or play a shape-sorting activity at her doghouse. Crawlers and toddlers can enjoy activities built into the wall as they open the doors to T-Bone’s doghouse and are greeted by their reflection in a mirror; turn a crank to make Clifford go in and out of his doghouse; and spin two tumblers to match Birdwell Island characters to their homes. Visit SloanMuseum.org for more details. — P.S.

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