Bettendorf, Iowa/Quad Cities – Video games and cartoons take up a lot of children’s time, and the Family Museum’s summer exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action is out to combat childhood inertia. The exhibit at the museum in Bettendorf, Iowa, opens June 8 and running through September 8, 2019, invites children and adults to explore activities such as kung fu, surfing, snowboarding, yoga, and horizontal climbing. The primary goal of the exhibit is to get kids into action by playing and doing things they like to do.

Featuring the theme of action adventures popular in children’s books and movies, the homegrown exhibition invites visitors to jump into action star training – play activities that builds strength, coordination, balance, and endurance.

Cultural spotlights and real-life stories of young people and families who are passionate about a particular activity aim to deepen visitors’ motivation about movement. As visitors move through the exhibit and have fun with physical activity, they will get ideas for how they can become more active daily.

Throughout the exhibit, kids and accompanying adults stamp the activities they tried on Action Trackers. Visitors can also take home Action Tracker 3-Day Missions – activity logs that encourage people to do physical activity for a total of 60 minutes a day.

The exhibit aims primarily at children ages 5-12, while children 2-5 will also be able to join in the fun at many of the activities. Additionally, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action developers worked to make the exhibit activities accessible to visitors with varying physical abilities and developmental needs.

Exhibit Components

Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action features four adventure scenes and an action star training center. Each adventure scene provides an imaginative setting in which kids can try out a high appeal physical activity and highlight a specific physical challenge of balance, strength, coordination, or cardiovascular endurance.          

Surfing and Snowboarding (Balance): Visitors don Hawaiian shirts or down-style vests, choose one of four balance boards – two basic and two advanced – and see how long they can stay on for the ride. A motion sensor triggers a two-minute video sequence that takes the riders through pine trees and past lakes as they snowboard down a mountain. Then the video takes the riders off the edge of a cliff and sailing into the clouds before landing as surfers in the ocean.  The activity challenges and builds the riders’ balance.

Kung Fu Forest (Coordination): Visitors enter a clearing in a bamboo forest and begin the kung fu session with a bow to show the three principles of kung fu: strength, peace, and respect. Three lantern posts display instructional images of kung fu animal stances – still, “ready” positions inspired by the rooster, the snake and the tiger. After visitors try the animal stances, they can push a button to trigger a sequence of lightbox images that guide the participant from still poses into a flow of action. The panels also illustrate the cultural origins of kung fu and other martial arts.

Climbing Canyon (Strength): A trailhead marker introduces four different trails: the Toddler Trail, Beginners’ Bend, Rugged Ridge, and the Extreme Expanse. Visitors of varying skill and ability levels successfully traverse the trails to safely explore a cave holding a hidden treasure. Hand and footholds guide the visitors across the horizontal walls. The climbing canyon shows visitors how lifting and holding up their own body weight is a valid strength-building activity.

Flycycle Sky (Endurance): Visitors merge their imagination with physical activity when they strap on a bike helmet and climb on one of the Museum’s flycycles. These stationary bikes with wings or propellers each face a cloud-shaped panel. For every few rotation of the wheels, a star lights up in the sky. The flycycles vary in form: one is a tandem bike with a recumbent seat in front, an upright in back and two pairs of wings above; another is a hand-pedaled chariot with an overhead propeller.

Action Star Training (Balance, Strength, Coordination, Cardiovascular and Muscular Endurance): The action star training center provides visitors with challenges of balance, strength, coordination and cardiovascular and muscular endurance through simple activities that kids can do at home.

  • At the Yoga Station, visitors try out the tree pose and the cat stretch, as well as learn the origins of yoga.
  • At the Strength Center, a kid-friendly interpretation of gym equipment, visitors experiment with upper- and lower-body strength. They can try out monkey bars, leg presses, self-weighted rowers, and adaptive chin-ups.
  • In the Dance Club, visitors choose dance moves and music to get their heart pumping, going freestyle or following the dancer on the screen.

Toddler Pyramid: The toddler pyramid offers the youngest visitors a separate place to experiment with physical activity away from the thick of the action. With adventure-theme flair, the Toddler Pyramid features toddler-sized steps, a climbing net, and a slide. It emphasizes that you are never too young to be physically active.

About the Family Museum

With 44,000 square feet of programming space, the Family Museum provides interactive exhibits, various Drop-In classes, pre-school classes, school and community outreach, dance classes, and a variety of programs geared towards children 8 and under. Visitors to the Family Museum’s interactive exhibit gallery will discover how food moves from the modern farm to the local store by caring for animals, driving a combine, and moving grain, in the farm exhibit; explore the Mississippi River by adding obstacles and raising or lowering water levels as they watch their boat make its journey down a 28-foot indoor waterplay table resembling an actual stretch of the Mississippi River; chat with neighbors or wave to the mail carrier in the town square exhibit which includes features of everyday life; and make alphabet soup, wash the laundry, and splash around in the virtual pond (without getting wet!) in PlayHouse. Admission is $9 for ages 1-59; seniors 60+ are $5; children under 1 are free. Regular hours are Sunday: Noon-5pm, Monday-Thursday: 9am-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 9am-5pm. Summer Hours are Sunday: Noon-5pm, Monday: 9am-8pm, Tuesday-Saturday: 9am-5pm. For more information visit www.familymuseum.org, Facebook.com/FamilyMuseum, or Twitter.com/FamilyMuseum.

The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois.  The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois.  It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.  Visit Quad Cities is the region’s official destination management organization.  For more information, visit us online at www.visitquadcities.com and connect with us on social media.

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Family Museum Contact:  Elly Gerdts, Marketing Coordinator (563) 344-4169 egerdts@bettendorf.org

Photos & Media Trips: For High-res photos or for information about media tours, please contact Jessica Waytenick at Visit Quad Cities at 800-747-7800 Ext. 827 or jwaytenick@visitquadcities.com.