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INK rings in its sixth year

Kids get birthday treats at interactive museum

POSTED: August 29, 2008 5:01 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Thao Do Nguyen Kim, right, shares a laugh Sunday with Susu Ellis at the play beauty salon at INK.

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INK celebrated its sixth birthday Sunday afternoon with a scavenger hunt, a magic show by Jeff McClure and a special viewing of the television show "Phineas and Ferb." There was also pizza, cake, free temporary tattoos, and arts and crafts.

INK employee Salaih Bush, a 19-year-old Gainesville resident, said the scavenger hunt consisted of finding different clues within the 23 exhibits at the interactive museum. The winner received coupons, a "Phineas and Ferb" poster and many more prizes.

For arts and crafts, kids made their own birthday hats.

Members were able to come to the museum for free. One member, John Duteau of Dahlonega, brought his son to the event.

"We had a membership. I thought it’d be fun to bring him and let him play," he said.

He and his son planned to stay for awhile. "He’ll want to do the scavenger hunt," Duteau said.

Other guests didn’t know that INK was celebrating its sixth anniversary.

Evelyn Abernathy of Braselton came to the museum just to bring her 3-year-old grandson, Jackson Abernathy. "He loves it," she said as he was running from one exhibit to the next, "He doesn’t know what to do next."

INK lets kids experience real jobs through their exhibits such as a medical clinic, a diner, a SunTrust bank and a grocery store. Bush said that an educational experience "is what we go for."

Kids enjoy the exhibits. Abernathy said that her grandson "wants to be a pilot when he grows up," adding that the plane exhibit was the first thing he ran to when they got there.

Parents like it, too. Duteau said he likes to bring his son because it "has so many things for him to do," and it is a safe environment. It’s a place for the whole family. "You can interact with your kids." Duteau said.

INK hosts different events throughout the year. One such event is Family Day, where families get in for free or half off admission, Bush said. They also have grand openings whenever they open up a new exhibit.

Abernathy and Duteau both plan on coming back. "You can’t take them to the park on a rainy day, but you can still bring them here," Duteau said.

INK, which stands for Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, is a nonprofit organization located at 999 Chestnut St. whose mission is to encourage children of all ages to develop their full potential through exciting hands-on learning.

For more information about INK, call 770-536-1900.



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