While children might hop with excitement and talk with an Aussie accent at the EdVenture Children's Museum next week, the adults who run the 7-year-old museum will be hoping other museums like "Kangaroo Crossing" enough to rent it out.
EdVenture already has the marketing material on its website – for $12,000 other museums can rent out the exhibit for 12 weeks.
"The biggest advantage of providing these traveling exhibits is the revenue," Susan Bonk, EdVenture's education and exhibits director, said Wednesday. "It's important because it helps us support the rest of the work in the museum while building relationships with other museums."
"Kangaroo Crossing" is the second EdVenture exhibit designed to acquaint children with other places and their cultures. The first, "From Here to Timbuktu: A Journey to West Africa," can be rented for 12 weeks for $50,000. EdVenture's third rental, "Garbagena," focuses on recycling. Bonk said it's being repaired and isn't available for rent right now.
Traveling exhibits in children's museums across the country help attract new members, give local businesses sponsorship opportunities and provide the community with education, said Diane Kopasz, spokeswoman for the Association of Children's Museums.
EdVenture blocks off a section of its second floor to host traveling exhibits it rents from other museums. "The Attack of the Bloodsuckers," created by the Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York, is taking that spot until May 8.
Donna Batcher, a teacher at Oakwood Christian School, brought her class to see the exhibit, which features an interactive look at parasites.
"We don't have anything in our area similar to this," Batcher says. "The kids are loving the hands-on things that reflect some of the topics we've studied, like the bugs in science class."
Batcher says she looks forward to seeing new traveling exhibits come to EdVenture.
"The traveling exhibits are great," Batcher says. "Every time the students come back there's something new. It's not the same thing over and over again."
Bonk said two more traveling exhibits have already been booked.
• "Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action," May 28-Sept. 11. The exhibit, based on superheroes, teaches the science behind balance, strength, coordination and endurance.
• "The Amusement Park Science," Oct.1-Jan. 8, explores the physics behind amusement park rides.
The most successful exhibits are the ones with recognizable characters, but they are also the most expensive, Bonk said.
Last summer EdVenture rented out the $45,000 "Curious George: Let's Get Curious!" exhibit for three months.
"When Curious George was here, a costume came with the exhibit that also allowed us to do programs for our visitors," said Bonk. "And a new program grew out of that. Every fourth Tuesday of the month, dozens of people come to see our staff dressed in costumes at Tales for Tots."
EdVenture's "From Here to Timbuktu" also comes with programs that get museum staff involved, such as African dance lessons and hair braiding. The exhibit is at Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta until May 30.
Museums will be able to show off their traveling exhibits to potential renters May 20 at the Association of Children's Museums conference in Houston. EdVenture will not be showcasing any exhibits this year, but is participating to see what exhibits it may want to rent.
"We look at everything from costs, space and content," said Bonk. "We really do look at the content of the exhibits and what we would think would appeal to our visitors during the different times of the year."