There is no shame in being childish when it helps keep you young.

Being Childish – Scott Family Amazeum

It has been said that we grow old when we stop playing. If this is true, then we should remain young forever. Visits to science-based play zones have become a popular all-ages experience. In Bentonville, the Scott Family Amazeum offers a fun way to learn while you play. We will sometimes get a sideways glance at these places, but these days most people figure that we are doing research. It’s kind of funny to think of it as research, when in reality it’s just having a great time. There is something to be said for having an opportunity to keep being childish.

We want to thank Visit Bentonville and Amazeum for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own. 

Kids enjoy the Canopy Climber at Amazeum.


We could feel the years washing away from the moment we walked through the door. Even being in “work mode” didn’t stop the desire to touch and experience things from rising inside of us. Crystal has spent a lot of time determining the appropriate outfit to wear on this day in particular. She was torn between the clothing for an upcoming art gallery visit and the desire to let her youthful side roam in here. In the end, she was able to find a suitable compromise and she was soon engrossed in frivolity. When we spotted the Canopy Climber exhibit, she considered diving in but decided that I would think she was being childish.

An air cannon shows the power of an invisible force.

Air Power

A spiral staircase leading to a swinging bridge was her alternate choice. In no time, Crystal was crossing the chasm on her way to an exhibit on air power. A simplified cannon concentrates the exiting air when a band slaps against the drum. The results are seen in the shiny design a few feet away. 

Checking Out

Making our way through the various exhibit galleries included watching kids of all ages scurrying from display to display. We got caught up in the accelerated level of excitement and found ourselves being childish. After moving from the farm to the packaging plant, we next found ourselves in the grocery store. Kids were busy shopping, stocking, and checking out all of the products that we found in our homes. It was fun watching the interactions between parents and kids. I just wonder if the kids would have thought it was childish if someone had pulled out coupons.

Packaging World

Amazeum is filled with a good variety of activities. Many displays are based on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.). That means that while you play you are learning an assortment of theories and concepts from each of these areas. Kids have no difficulty in letting their imaginations run wild and soon they are solving all kinds of scenarios with unique solutions. Bentonville is the home of Walmart, a generous investor in this community. A portion of the exhibits at Amazeum focuses on the supply chain that brings our groceries from farms to our homes. Kids can engage in all the steps to get goods to market.

SpongeBob is the perfect draw for kids.

Familiar Character

While the Walmart logo appeared in a few places, it wasn’t the only familiar name to be found. In the Nickelodeon Play Lab, we spotted our old friend SpongeBob SquarePants. (Cue the catchy theme song.) This portion of Amazeum allows kids to get behind the scenes with video production. You can create your version of stop-motion animation. Then write and produce your theme music with automated and analog instruments. We are betting that this kind of interactive experience will foster the next great animator.

Water World

Water has the power to amaze kids and adults of all ages. We find ourselves mesmerized by flowing rivers and lapping waves. Water Amazements give visitors a chance to explore the world of water. Tables are set up that allow kids to alter the flow of the stream to see the impact it creates. Balls can be floated through the exhibit and we watched as kids launched new ones into the current. Before long, Crystal just had to get involved and jump into the fun. I judiciously spent my time behind the lens looking to capture the fun and amazement.

Kids enjoy painting glass canvases, which can be easily cleaned and ready for more painting.

Second Childhoods

It’s interesting to think of how attractions have changed over the years. When we were kids these types of experiences weren’t available. Now they are found in cities and towns across the nation. It certainly makes being childish easier. One of the first we ever visited was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since that early visit, we have been able to sample many more. We even enjoyed the City Museum, in St. Louis, which focuses more on exploration through crawling and climbing in man-made structures. No matter what the experience, we are ready to embrace it all in the name of research.

The authors pose during a visit to Amazeum in bentonville.

Take It Outside

When the weather permits, like the day we visited, the Amazeum offers an impressive outdoor experience. An assortment of play experiences are available, as well as a flowing waterfall in the center of the space. They have done a good job at segmenting the various play spaces while keeping them all in a good flow. Admission is $14 per person and guests can spend as long as they wish in the science center. We found it has exhibits that appeal to all ages, so the family can all enjoy a visit.

5 thoughts on “Being Childish – Scott Family Amazeum”

  1. Well, I didn’t see any pictures of Crystal, so I was wondering what she ended up wearing. The one I saw of the two of you does not show me much, so did she end up having fun?

    1. It’s funny how many times we have people remind us that places like Amazeum are for kids. Isn’t everyone someone’s kid? We have just tried to hold on to a little of that imagination and amazement of youth. We are so happy you enjoyed this article. Please keep coming back for more.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top