EarlyWorks Debuts Brand New Exhibit for July 10th Reopening

The EarlyWorks Children’s Museum is excited to reopen to the public on Friday, July 10th with a special limited time exhibit entitled Toys: The Inside Story presented by Toyota Alabama. You will take a look “inside” many classic toys from the past.  What makes them move? What makes them buzz?  If your parents never let you break open your Etch A Sketch® to find out how it works, or if you’ve been wondering how to stop your toddler’s push toy from making such an infernal racket, you’ll love Toys: The Inside Story.

“The Toys exhibit and several other additions to the museum are the start of a new direction for EarlyWorks, as we move towards blending STEM education with the tried and true history lessons EarlyWorks has been known for, said Bart Williams, Executive Director. “While we were closed to the public and the world stayed safe at home, the EarlyWorks team re-envisioned Huntsville’s children’s museum.”

This special traveling exhibit includes 20 different play/learn stations and exhibits that illustrate the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys, and let visitors create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits.  It also explores the history of toys throughout the ages, allowing visitors to reminisce and play with toys of days gone by.

Jack Gets Out of His Box gives visitors a close-up view of the cam combination that frees our hero “Jack,” while elsewhere we dig into the amazing collection of switches, cams and motors that make Elmo® dance and Mr. Machine® run.

Pirates and Treasure have been discovered on the Keel boat.  Come aboard and raise the skull and crossbones as you begin your pirate adventure.

Pioneers and Paper Dolls Join us in the Log Cabin and take a look at what kind of toys kids played with before there was mass manufacturing and plastics.  Try your hand at a variety of hand-made wooden toys and then dress a paper doll for a special occasion.

Video Game History:  The creation of electronic gaming changed the world of play.  Come review the history of the development of the video game industry, and reminisce about your first video game.  You might even find a pinball machine or video game to test your skills on.  

Camellia’s Play Café is the ultimate let’s pretend restaurant.  Kids don the apron, explain the daily specials, take the guests’ orders and then deliver a delicious “make-believe” meal to the table.

The Learning Lab offers an ongoing schedule of toy-related, hands-on activities that will challenge children to create and invent.  Led by our team of museum volunteers The Learning Lab has something for everyone, it might be making and sailing paper boats or seeing who can make Hot Wheels cars coast the furthest.

The Truck Zone is nestled under the big tree in the EarlyWorks Rotunda and is outfitted with some real cool toy construction vehicles.  You might even find some Tonka Trucks to play with.

Generations of Toys displays many of the toys that were popular during four of the most significant generations in our history.  Whether you are in Generation X or you are Baby Boomer you are sure to find a toy you remember from your youth. What was your favorite toy?

Adding to all the fun and learning of the Toys exhibit, EarlyWorks has added several new permanent play/learn areas to its’ already popular offerings.

“The LEGO River” is a specially designed water-table station that allows kids to create a “river” using Lego blocks and then see if a small boat can navigate the currents. 

The “Think Big Studio” invites children to be the engineer.  Hundreds of “Big Blue Blocks” await, all that is need for this fun is an active imagination and the desire to build.

“Lights and Colors” offers three light-box stations that encourage the exploration of the properties of light and the mixing of colors.  Kids of all ages will delight and learn while they build colorful glowing structures using stacks of colored acrylic blocks. 

The exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., with funding from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to seven museums across the country that comprise TEAMS (Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science). 

Local STEM Sponsors include Venturi Aerospace, Torch Technologies, Turner Beverage, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, CB&S Bank, Huntsville Madison County CVB, ADTRAN, and QuantiTech.

Supporting Sponsors include Arab Cartage and Express, Geo Solutions, Rey Almodovar and Family, Joanne Hill and Walmart.

The EarlyWorks Family of Museums has implemented new policies and procedures to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe. Be assured…we are very concerned about the safety and well-being of our visitors.

  • We will conduct a daily health screening of all staff. Sick employees will not be allowed in the building.
  • Since face coverings are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all staff and volunteers will be required to wear a face covering. Visitors and children ages 5 and up will also be strongly encouraged to do so. 
  • To maintain social distancing, capacity will be limited to 50 guests per session.  Limits will also be placed on the capacity of each exhibit area within the museum. 
  • Museum capacity has been set so that each family group can enjoy our exhibits at a safe distance.
  • Hand washing will be encouraged with additional hand sanitizing stations. 
  • Staff and volunteers will be continually cleaning exhibits and high traffic surfaces throughout the day.
  • The museum staff and volunteers will conduct a deeper cleaning each day between each tour and session.  
  • Water fountains will be closed.
  • EarlyWorks Family of Museums reopening policies and procedures are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and align with local and state reopening guidelines. The Museum will continue to evaluate its new measures and make changes to the guidelines as needed. 

HERE'S WHAT VISITORS Can EXPECT DURING Their Visit Due to current health concerns

  • On-line pre-purchase of a timed ticket required for 2-hour sessions
  • Up to date hours of operation and ticket information can be found at www.earlyworks.com
  • All exhibits will be open. Individual exhibit area capacities will be posted and monitored by staff.
  • After each 2-hour session the EarlyWorks staff will perform a 30-minute sanitizing routine, in preparation for the next session.
  • Restrooms will be open and cleaned frequently.
  • Water fountains will be closed.


We have taken enhanced health and safety measures—for our guests and our employees. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

For more information on The EarlyWorks Family of Museums visit online at earlyworks.com.