There was an air of excitement outside Professor Pennypickle’s Imagination Workshop last Monday. The varied assortment of Temecula and Murrieta VIPs were murmuring and joking with each other.
“Do you know what’s going on?” “I don’t know what’s going on.” All anyone knew was that they were summoned, by invitation, to an event at one of Temecula’s most loved landmarks. Although jeans were recommended, people were dressed for a special occasion. There was a festive atmosphere, as patrons waited for the doors to open, at 6:30 sharp, and not a moment sooner. Once the doors were opened, the festive atmosphere continued with wine and hors d’ oeuvres, and plenty of experiments set up for the all-adult crowd to try. The real attraction though, was the door, down the hall, mysteriously covered with caution tape. The former toddler room was turned in to something very special. With a little pomp and circumstance, and some speeches from some of Temecula and Murrieta’s elite, the crowd was told, “We’re gonna blow this place.”
With much enthusiasm, the crowd began counting down.
“Five, four, three, two, one!” Confetti sprayed, and the doors slowly opened. Inside was a golden glow, and a beautiful wall of gears. It almost had the feel of being in a sepia toned photograph, with the antique clock motif. Upon closer inspection it is discovered that the entire wall is kid-powered by a “Rumpus Rotational Drive”, reminiscent of the Sit-and-Spin many played with as children. The crowd cheered as Temecula City Council member Maryann Edwards demonstrated how it worked. The new room also has a very special view into Beaker’s home. Beaker is the mouse companion to the fictional namesake of the Imagination Workshop, Professor Phineas T. Pennypickle. Pat Comerchero wove a rich and many-layered back-story for the children’s museum. She and the team that created it took every detail into consideration. “I don’t think there is another children’s museum like it,” says Chris Durmick, “Other museums get a little weird, but we took the weird all the way!” Pennypickle’s really stands out in the way that it completely integrates fun with education. Children can touch everything, and are encouraged to see things at there own level, literally. There are little doorways, and secret passages throughout. “We hope kids will find things parents won’t,” says Comerchero.
The new addition to the museum is gorgeous. It is yet one more installment in an award winning singular children’s museum. If you have not been there recently, go and see this treasure, right in our own backyard.
Pennypickle’s Workshop: 42081 Main Street, Old Town Temecula, CA 92590