Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog

About 11 years ago, the Magic House in Kirkwood hosted a traveling Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit. Going to the Magic House was a huge treat for us back then (really, it kind of still is), and Ryan and I were excited to take three-year-old Turkey, two-year-old Bunny, and not-even-one-year-old Moose to it, because in addition to loving the books, that was one of their favorite TV shows. It has remained a happy, albeit fuzzy memory for all of us, so we were very excited to hear that the same exhibit was making its way back to St. Louis this summer. And Ladybug and Chickadee were excited that they would finally get a chance to go, too!

Given the children’s ages when they went the first time, I don’t blame them for not remembering much beyond the giant Clifford. I’m not sure why I don’t remember much more than that, though, so a lot of it was new to me, too. It was fun seeing it through fresh eyes, starting with the Birdwell Island map at the entrance:

Of course the star of the show was Clifford himself!

All his friends were there, too…Cleo, T-Bone (my personal favorite), and of course Emily Elizabeth. Even Mac made an appearance, although calling him a “friend” of Clifford’s might be going too far…

We saw a lot of familiar Birdwell Island locations, as well, including Emily Elizabeth’s house, the lighthouse, and, of course, Clifford’s giant doghouse!

I especially enjoyed Samuel’s Fish and Chips Shack, which allowed children to “cook” and serve meals to their customers:

The post office was also a lot of fun. It included dress-up postal uniforms, and mail that could be delivered to the mailboxes located at each Birdwell Island landmark in the exhibit.

There were other fun activities, as well, including the conveyor belt upon which you could deliver large bones to Clifford’s giant bowl that we remembered from our first visit so long ago:

The reading area inside the “boat” was especially appropriate, since Clifford was first seen in books even before he was on TV:

And there were signs sharing “Clifford’s Big Ideas” for having fun at the exhibit, done in the same style as they were on the TV show.

This is a great exhibit, and will be at the Magic House through early September. Chickadee got the most practical use out of it, because she’s the perfect size and age to enjoy each section of the island. For the rest of the children, it was really more a sentimental visit, but they all had a great time as well, remembering what they could, and marveling over how much smaller everything seemed compared to the last time they saw it all!

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