Toddler Hollow at Marbles Kids Museum has turned into a quiet little refuge for the downtown Raleigh museum's youngest visitors.
The space, right next to the popular Around Town exhibit and bus on the first floor, is designed for kids under 3 and is the only group-free space in the museum.
"We got lots of feedback from parents asking for a quieter place that was group free for their younger kids," said Marbles' Katy Burgwyn.
Marbles responded with Toddler Hollow, which opened in June. I took my then two-year-old, just days before her third birthday, to check out the exhibit the other week.
It's adorable. There's a woodland theme with a small bridge; log tunnel; mushroom stoops for climbing on; and lots of mirrors and things to touch and feel placed at the eye level of a small or even crawling child.
My daughter's very favorite space was the little hiding place in the corner next to that log tunnel. It's small enough for one or two young children to hide in. Kids loved opening and closing the door, playing peek-a-boo with their moms while I was there.
From experience I know that when Marbles is busy with groups of older school kids, the museum can be a bit overwhelming for babies and toddlers. Toddler Hollow is a wonderful addition.
Get a closer look at the exhibit in my interview with Burgwyn. Toddler Hollow is free with admission to Marbles, which is $5 and free for kids under 1.