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Children’s museum up for Nickelodeon award

POSTED: June 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Lily Pullen, 4, runs around the rooms at INK Children's Museum Saturday afternoon as she and her parents Jeremy and Amy of Atlanta came to Gainesville for a visit. The children's museum recently got nominated for a Nickelodeon Parent's Choice award for Best Museum in the Atlanta area.

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What do "Hannah Montana," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the INK children’s museum have in common?

They’ve all been nominated for Nickelodeon Awards, though not exactly in the same categories.

Gainesville’s INK, or Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, was recently nominated for the "Best Museum" award, along with two other Atlanta-area competitors, by users and local editors of the Nickelodeon-affiliated Web site ParentsConnect.com.

The Web site is geared toward parents with kids of all ages. Their first annual Parents’ Picks awards give voters the chance to identify the top family-friendly destinations in major U.S. cities in multiple categories. The winner of each category will be featured on the site for a year. Each person can vote for nominees once a day on the site through June 30.

Ink’s marketing director Dana Miller said the nomination was a pleasant surprise.

"We’re a popular destination for metro Atlanta, so it’s been a great honor. We hope people will vote for us because it will be a great honor for the community as well," Miller said.

INK’s pint-sized neighborhood exhibits give kids the chance to step into the roles of firefighters, doctors, hair stylists, courthouse judges and more.

In addition to interactive exhibits, Miller said INK features a pottery studio, an arts and crafts room, and holds about 10 birthday parties a week.

Miller added that the summer heat has spurred an increase in admissions to INK.

As a hands-on museum, Miller said INK bucks the general "do-not-touch-anything" museum mantra by encouraging visitors to interact with the exhibits.

"We’re here to inspire kids — to let them know that they can grow up and be anything they want to be — and let them use their imagination," Miller said.



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