published Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Winter Wonders: Chattanooga's Creative Discovery Museum shows off its holiday side

Three-year-old Ella Grace Kelly  gets some help wrapping presents from Olivia Fowler Saturday in the Holiday Shoppe at the Creative Discovery Museum.
Three-year-old Ella Grace Kelly gets some help wrapping presents from Olivia Fowler Saturday in the Holiday Shoppe at the Creative Discovery Museum.
Photo by Angela Lewis.


* What: Winter Wonders

* When: Through Jan. 8

* Where: Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St., second floor

* Admission: $12

* Phone: 423-756-2738

* Website:

Lovelie Pulliam lined up her shot and pulled her hockey stick back slightly.

As she started to shoot, the puck was blocked by her mom, Sherry Pulliam, during a quick game of hockey the two were playing at the Creative Discovery Museum's Winter Wonders exhibit Saturday.

"It was fun. My momma kept trying to hit my stick," Lovelie, 8, said, laughing.

Winter Wonders, which opened last weekend, was designed by the staff of the Creative Discovery Museum to celebrate the cool winter months and to teach about the spirit of giving that transcends the many winter holidays, said Jayne Griffin, director of education.

Kids raced through the Winter Maze, where plastic streamers gave the feeling of being lost in a snowstorm. They slid across the tiles of the "ice" skating rink and stamped animal footprints in the "snow" -- really baking soda.

Little extra aspects were added to each activity area for the kids to discover, Griffin said.

There's a mouse hole that isn't noticeable unless someone is on the ground exploring. Children can enter the Winter Maze through a door or through a wardrobe in the Cozy Cottage -- a nod to the C.S. Lewis children's novel "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

"Dad, watch me make myself disappear!" Gabriel Hereth said to his father, Ethan Hereth, as he walked into the wardrobe.

After a few moments, Gabriel called to his dad again.

"Now open the door," he said, and giggled when Hereth said he couldn't see him.

Hereth wasn't sure if his kids understood the reference to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," but he said they were having a great time at the exhibit.

"The kids love it, but I think us grown-ups get a little bored," he said.

Keagan Lee waited inside the Cozy Cottage for her daughter, Ella Grace Kelly, 3, to finish up at the Holiday Shoppe, which was the main reason for their visit to the museum Saturday. The Holiday Shoppe is open every weekend through Christmas, and it allows kids to purchase gifts for friends and family by themselves, with a little help from museum staff.

"I'm not allowed to go in," Lee said. "I went over there to check on her, and she told me to go away."

Lee gave Ella Grace $40 to buy gifts for her family, but when Ella Grace emerged from the shop, all the presents were for her mother.

"Don't peek," she warned her mom.

about Rachel Bunn...

Rachel Bunn is originally from Ellijay, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in magazines and history. While at UGA, she wrote for the student magazine UGAzine, served as news editor for the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and spent a semester studying British history at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She has previously worked at The Rockdale Citizen in Conyers, Ga., and The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the ...

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