ExploraHouse reopens, including spiffed-up giant toilet

ExploraHouse at the kidscommons in downtown Columbus has reopened, along with the famous giant toilet that is one of its best-known features.

The hands-on exhibit highlights the workings of a home — inside and out — for children and their families to explore, said Diane Robbins, kidscommons spokeswoman.

The exhibit had been closed since early summer to be refurbished, with improvements including new and updated features and sprucing up existing ones.

Funding for the improvements was provided by the Carl Marshall Reeves & Mildred Almen Reeves Foundation, John and Nancy Wagner and Carnivale donors, Robbins said.

Among the improvements are four new high-definition monitors, which are attached to cameras placed throughout the house. Talk tubes, which allow visitors to communicate with those exploring the house, have been improved.

There is also a new mantle, fireplace facade, interior glowing lights in the fireplace and a new graphic describing how chimneys work.

The giant toilet that the exhibit is known for has been cleaned, and a new bathroom mirror was installed. Children who slide down the toilet tube slide will land in the water treatment plant, where a new “Go With the Flow” information area shows the path water takes after it leaves the toilet.

The Infrared Room is now an Infrared Kitchen, with a stove, refrigerator and heat sensing tiles. A new insulation display replaces the previous exhibit.

ExploraHouse’s light room has been completely renovated. A new backlit light play zone has large translucent pegs that may be arranged to create a colorful design. Visitors may view photos using differing light types, such as black light, LED, sunlight and fluorescent.

The exhibit was designed by the Cincinnati (Ohio) Museum Center, the original design firm for ExploraHouse when it opened Nov. 4, 2006.

If you go

What: ExploraHouse at kidscommons

Where: 309 Washington St.

When: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

How much: $7 per person for those age 18 months and older

For more information: kidscommons.org

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.