Kaleideum, the reimagined experiential learning museum in downtown Winston-Salem, will unveil its new building with several events leading up to the grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 17. The five-story, nearly 70,000-square-foot museum is located at 120 West 3rd Street across from Merschel Park.
“We’re thrilled to open our doors as a dynamic family destination where fun and learning collide,” said Kaleideum’s CEO Elizabeth Dampier. “Museums are catalysts for thriving communities, and Kaleideum is a celebration of arts, innovation, and education right here in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem.”
Kaleideum will hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting attended by the Forsyth County Commissioners, community leaders, Kaleideum staff, and other invited guests. After the ribbon is cut in front of the iconic building, which was designed to reflect the idea of experiencing various perspectives and inspired by geometric shapes captured in a kaleidoscope, guests will move indoors to hear from Forsyth County Commissioner Don Martin; Elizabeth Dampier, Kaleideum CEO; and Calvin McRae, Kaleideum board chair and vice president of public policy at Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.
Members-Only Days: Noon–5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, and 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16
Kaleideum members will have two days of early access before the museum opens to the public. Memberships, which come with several benefits including Members-Only Mondays starting April 1, range in price from $125 for a Single to $500 for a Super Plus. All memberships purchased on or before Feb. 16 will have access to the Grand Opening Members-Only Days on Feb. 15–16.
Kaleideum’s main event is the grand opening on Feb. 17 when the museum opens its doors to the public. Families and individuals are invited to explore the interactive exhibits, engage in hands-on activities, and immerse themselves in the wonders of science, art, and innovation. Tickets are $15 per adult and $12 per child and go on sale Feb. 1 for morning and afternoon sessions. Visitors are encouraged to buy their tickets online, and members are encouraged to reserve their tickets online. Museums for All pricing will be available at the Welcome Desk the day of the event upon presentation of an EBT, WIC or Link2Feed card.
The Kaleideum grand opening is sponsored by Triad Kids Dental of Winston-Salem, which provides high-quality dental care for children in a fun and family-friendly environment, and in partnership with The PreK Priority, a collaboration of community organizations committed to early childhood education. Both organizations will be on site at the grand opening event with information and activities for visitors.
The reimagined Kaleideum offers a captivating blend of hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs that fuse science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines. Key exhibit areas include the following.
- By Design: Construct a building, craft pottery, model furniture, code a dance routine, or design a tattoo. Dream about how you will leave your mark on our city, county, and beyond.
- In Motion: Engineer an ideal roller coaster, capture kinetic movement, build a race car, or ride a bike to generate electricity.
- Digital Dome: Travel through space, tour the human body, explore Earth’s geography, experience a laser light show, or dive into an immersive movie.
- Our Nature: Investigate the constant change and surprising connections among life on Earth by exploring topography, checking out feathers and scales, or pretending you’re a wildlife veterinarian.
- Storytelling: Transport into the world of storytelling through interactive experiences with animation, shadow puppets, sound effects, and phonetics.
- Wonders of Water: Experience water in all its wonderful forms by controlling a waterfall, sculpting an ice block, and playing with light in a tunnel of fog.
- Little Learners: Toddle into a cozy play-space for babies, crawlers, new walkers, and their caregivers full of natural light and soft surfaces.
- Try It! Studio: Imagine, try, fail, modify, hack, iterate, collaborate, invent, and create.Experience all this and more in a changing space with activities such as painting, construction, robotics, and more.
Kaleideum will open with the traveling exhibition Framed: Step into Art in which visitors will step inside the framework of famous paintings and experience art like never before. Climb into a tent and explore camping gear in John Singer Sargent’s “Camp at Lake O’Hara,” add corn husks to the flower tower in Diego Rivera’s “Corn Festival” and enter Clementine Hunter’s “Big Chicken” to get behind the reins of a giant rooster. Framed: Step into Artwas created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum.
Kaleideum’s Rooftop Adventure, an outdoor play space that spans the third and fourth floor while overlooking downtown, will open in summer 2024.
“At Kaleideum, we want visitors to engage with diverse experiences that appeal to all ages,” Dampier said. “We are creating multifaceted, open-ended experiences that prompt visitors to test theories, seek answers to questions, think critically, shift perspectives, and explore at their own pace—all while learning, making memories, and having fun!”