Mr. Imagine's Toy Store is not what you think it is. If you live anywhere near the city, YOU CANNOT MISS THIS EXTREMELY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE with your family.
This pop -up shop is an extension of the Chicago Children's Museum and their Unboxed: Adventures in Cardbaord Exhibit. They are using this medium as a way to celebrating kid's unbridled creativity (love this).
There are two ways children can experience cardboard through Chicago Children’s Museum: at Mr. Imagine’s Toy Store at 1371 N. Milwaukee Ave. and at the museum’s newest exhibit, Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard. At Unboxed, which runs until May 5, 2013, children can explore the magnificence of cardboard by climbing on a nine-foot-tall cardboard Giant, crawling through the cardboard maze or creating their own cardboard creation at the cardboard studio (add this to the long-term to-do list).
But Mr. Imagine's Toy Store is only open until this Sunday. This place is oozing creativity. I stopped by late Monday afternoon with my three kids (ages 8, 6 and 3). They had the time of their lives and I had to drag them out the door to go home and have dinner. We walked out with a "dog named Puppy," a tool box and a bird of many, many feathers (complete with a functioning beak).
Here is how it works. The store is filled with plain cardboard boxes (against the backdrop of lovely artist-created cardboard creations - you will be impressed). Choose a box (they request a donation for each box -- but you receive free admission to the CCM for each box you buy so it all works out). Head to the back room stocked with a myriad of art supplies (and some very helpful adults who have good input on how to get started) and get to work! The store provides some examples of the kind of toys that could be built, but kids are encouraged to go wherever their imaginations take them. When your "toy" is complete, step into the "photo booth" and grab some pics of your fabulous creation.
How cool is this? The shop is actually a collaboration with ad agency Energy BBDO, who took CCM on earlier this year as the firm's pro bono client (absolutely adore what they've done with this -- everything from the messaging to the decor).
YOU MUST CHECK THIS OUT before it disappears on Sunday. Mr. Imagine's Toy Store is open from 10-6. Go and marvel at how incredibly creative your kids are!