Kids create future worlds at new science-fiction exhibit in Mesa

    science ficture exhibit, Mesa, Arizona, i.d.e.a. museum
    “Out of This Wooled” is by artist Tom Klare.

    The i.d.e.a. Museum in downtown Mesa encourages kids to experience real art in a hands-on, kid-friendly (i.e., no shushing) environment. Its newest exhibit, “Sci-Fi: Fantasy to Reality,” aimed at ages 5 to 12, also taps into young people’s intuitive grasp of technology and explores how the imaginations of science-fiction writers have sparked very useful inventions—including smartphones and computer tablets.

    The exhibit, opening Friday, June 17, challenges kids and adults alike to create stories complete with futuristic worlds, characters and gadgets.

    “We’re looking to have our visitors be aspiring science-fiction writers,” museum curator Jeffory Morris says of the show, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 11.

    Other hands-on activities include a time-travel tunnel, building a city of the future and dressing up in futuristic fashions. The exhibit includes 50 pieces of professional artwork, ranging from paintings and photography to artist-made robots and interactive projection maps.

    There is even “an augmented-reality presentation (where) there’s a camera attached to a monitor and you see yourself, but you’re transformed into a futuristic version of yourself,” Morris says.

    If you go: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. $8; free for babies younger than 1. 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. 480-644-4332 or

    RELATED: Find more events for kids on our Family Time calendar