Are you looking for a unique and imaginative experience for your kids to enjoy the magic of Christmas? If so, I highly recommend that your family consider checking out Kringle’s Inventionasium located in Tower City in downtown Cleveland, Ohio!
What is Kringle’s Inventionasium?
Our family was given the opportunity to experience the magic of this event during opening weekend and I’m sharing my experience first hand with you!
The premise behind this experience is that YOU and YOUR FAMILY are transformed into guest inventors of Mr. Kringle’s Toy Research and Development team. Each guest participates in the engineering design process (imagine / brainstorm, plan / draw & create / test) within the laboratory and by the end, invents their very own new toy to take home. It is a hands-on, guided and highly theatrical experience which ends in a private visit and photo opportunity with the big man himself, Mr. Kringle.
This experience was rated by TIME magazine as one of the top Santa experiences in the United States.
Our family has personally enjoyed this experience for 3 years now. My husband and I are both engineers. Every year we have gone, we’ve absolutely loved the way in which the entire experience encourages imagination, creation and discovery in our children. It also makes the young and the old feel the excitement of being a kid again!
Each year we have gone, the experience has changed just a tad to give it just a little more excitement. This years concept and experience was more cohesive and STEM focused but still just as imaginative, fun and magical as years past.
I don’t want to divulge too many details about the experience because experiencing it first hand is so magical, but I can sum it up in these steps:
- Walk through the ‘Top Secret” rooms of Kringle’s Inventionasium to build your toy creation (which your child gets to keep). Each room models a step in the engineering design process.
- Present your toy creation and it’s name into the Toy Hall of Fame (see our original creations named the (1) ‘Rocker Talker’ and (2) ‘Mr. Potato’ below).
- Enjoy a private visit and photo opportunity with Santa. (This experience alone has us coming back year after year. It is so unique and special.)
Recommendations for your Experience:
I have several recommendations to make the experience for your family truly magical:
(1) Splurge on the tickets for a “personalized” visit with Mr. Kringle – DELUXE or VIP: This year we did the DELUXE package and have done a similar package each year. The personalized visits TRULY make your child’s experience SUPER magical! Imagine the look on their faces as Mr. Kringle knows them by name and talks to them about personal details like their Elf on the Shelf named “Chippy”.
(2) If you have a child with special needs or sensory challenges, opt for an off peak time and date: The Inventionasium can get rather busy during the peak dates / times. It can also get loud and feel a tad rushed because of the volume of people in the Inventionasium at one time. I’d also recommend calling when booking your reservation to ensure that they can and will accommodate your child’s needs.
(3) Do not rush through the process of building your toy: At some point during your visit, you will select pieces and parts to build your toy. In this same area, there is a scientific demonstration and others building their toys as well and you may feel rushed. Remember that you have plenty of time to complete your toy design. The cast members in the area will assist you if you need to exchange parts / pieces and they will let you know when it is your turn to move on to the next section.
(4) Purchase the Parking Voucher: Parking at Tower City can get rather expensive, especially if there is an event. Purchase the parking voucher so that you don’t have to worry about increased prices in case of an unexpected event increasing the parking prices.
(5) Have your camera ready when it’s your turn to visit with Santa: Be ready to capture the awe in your child’s face as they see Santa and talk with him! Reliving these moments in years to come are truly priceless!
Kringle’s Inventionasium History:
Kringle’s Inventionasium opened in 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio by a team “with a dream and a mission to combine science, magic and creativity with the minds of the most brilliant dreamers from across the great wide open,” according to their website. I personally reached out to ‘Timely the Elf‘ for more information regarding it’s history and this is what was shared:
Who is responsible for the creation of the Inventionasium?
It was created by Mr. Kringle with the help of a few others: Fancy Alluetta Biscuit, Professor Ignatius Glytch, Poppy Peppergram, Slick O’Zackery, Razberry Hiccup, Boyzenberry Hiccup and Oona Eyebrite (see images of the team from MrKringle.com below).
What is the purpose of the Inventionasium?
To make everyone aware of their own magical abilities. Everyone has the ability within themselves to be and become anything they choose. Encouragement is the key, creativity is the way and heart is the compass. Your inner YOU points the directions to destiny. Anything is possible if you listen to your own bliss.
What was Mr. Kringle’s reason for building the Inventionasium?
He wished there was a place where everyone could discover their imaginations without censorship. Imaginations can become stifled by others who have lost their desire to pursue a magical way of thinking.
How does Mr. Kringle think this experience will impact the visitors?
He hopes the experience will be encouraging enough, that they will continue using their imaginations long after their visit and make the world sparkle just a little brighter.
This year, the Inventionasium carries an official STEM certification. Why STEM?
Mr. Kringle’s passion for science, invention and discovery coupled with his love of learning made STEM a logical next step for his Inventionasium.
I highly recommend experiencing the magic of Kringle’s Inventionasium with your children, particularly while the magic of Christmas is still alive in their hearts and minds.
It keeps children’s attention and they leave with a great amount of confidence in their own imagination and creativity each year! They do not even realize that they are learning! It fully engulfs the concept that “playing is learning”! This is by far our favorite way to visit with Santa because it does not feel rushed, it can be personalized (with the purchase of a ticket at the deluxe level) and the room is beautifully decorated for the perfect photo with Santa.
Enjoy your holiday and PLEASE consider checking out this wonderful Christmas experience in Cleveland, Ohio! Book your reservation today at https://mrkringle.com/tickets/.
Disclaimer: I received compliementary Deluxe tickets in exchange for writing about my experience on my blog and social media pages. We have attended as a family two years previously without complimentary tickets and also loved the experience. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.