Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Kansas City, family city. Throughout the year, kid-friendly exhibits are featured at the Crown Center Showplace, located on the first level next to the Coterie Theater, The best news? THEY’RE FREE!

If you aren’t local to the Kansas City area, Hallmark’s Crown Center is a three-story boutique wonderland connects via skywalk to LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Union Station, Science City, the Westin Conference Center and more.

Right now, Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog is there until September 22. Put together by the Minnesota Children’s Museum with the help of Scholastic, visitors get an opportunity to explore Birdwell Island (by ferry, if you so choose) and meet its community.

Help the Elizabeth family water their flower bed and fill Clifford’s dog bowl. When you’re doing, you can play bongos at Emily Elizabeth’s backyard theater and even dress up in a costume. Explore tunnels with Cleo or make sandcastles with T-Bone, two pooches from the animated series. Grab a mailbag and deliver letters to islanders or help Samuel prep, cook and fill orders at his Fish and Chips Shack. There’s also a library filled with Clifford books for your reading pleasure.

During your visit to Birdwell Island, you’ll also get to learn about the beloved author and cartoonist Norman Bridwell (1928-2014.) Did you know he originally wanted to name the big red dog “Tiny?” Me neither! His wife, Norma, shot down the idea and suggested Clifford because it was the name of one of her childhood imaginary friends.

Signs on the walls teach children Clifford’s Big Ideas, which revolve around being honest and treating others the way you want to be treated. These lessons may not have totally sunk in with Reila, who just turned 2, but she had a blast helping daddy operate Clifford’s bone conveyor belt, making burgers and operating the ferry. Cleo’s backyard and Clifford’s tail slide were probably were two favorite spots, however.

We went on a Wednesday around 5 PM and had the place all to ourselves, then grabbed a bite to eat at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant because who doesn’t want their food delivered by train? The exhibit is open 10 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday and until 7 PM on Saturday.

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