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Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unleashed at the Durham Museum in Omaha

Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog
Jim Henson and his iconic creation Kermit the Frog, in front of a mural by Coulter Watt. Photo by John E. Barrett.
Kermit the Frog ©Disney/Muppets. Courtesy The Jim Henson Company/MoMI

The Durham Museum has an exciting exhibit opening this October that everyone will love, including kids! It's all about Jim Henson, the incomparable artist and visionary who created beloved characters that defined many of our childhoods. I honestly didn't realize how much of a Jim Henson fan I am until I started reading the list of the characters he has created. Now I'm totally geeking out over this exhibition and the idea of sharing my love of Red Fraggle with my kids! I'm hoping I'll get a chance to head down and check it out myself, and I'll update this post with lots more pics if that happens, but for now, here's what you should know about this amazing exhibit:

The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unleashed

Here are some of the fun things your family can expect to see if you visit the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Durham:

  • Early sketches, concept art, and more from Jim Henson
  • Artifacts like art, video, and written materials from familiar franchises like the Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, The Labyrinth, and more.
  • Costumes from The Labyrinth 
  • More than 20 puppets, including...
    • Count Von Count from Sesame Street
    • Baby Fozzie & Baby Miss Piggie from Muppet Babies
    • Rowlf the Dog
    • Kira & Jen from The Dark Crystal
    • Ludo from the Labyrinth
    • Red Fraggle & Wembley Fraggle from Fraggle Rock
    • Kermit the Frog! There's a 1978 puppet of everyone's favorite amphibian ready for us to admire
  • And much more. It's going to be so cute and nostalgic!

Jim Henson-inspired events at the Durham

Throughout the course of the exhibition, the Durham Museum will also be hosting a variety of Jim Henson-inspired events. We participated in some of their virtual learning events this spring and my kids love them, so I am definitely looking forward to more of their great programming!

Jim Henson with the Fraggles!
Jim Henson with puppets from Fraggle Rock. ©The Jim Henson Company. Courtesy The Jim Henson Company/MoMI

  • Creating Characters: Behind the Scenes and On the Screen
    • Virtual panel discussion to be held on Tuesday 10/10 from 6:30-7:30pm
    • Panel will include Karen Prell, the actress behind Red Fraggle (my childhood fave!); Edward Christie, a master puppeteer and former head of Henson's NY workshop; and Polly Smith, costume designer who has been dressing Muppets for decades!
    • Event is free, but registration is required
  • Puppets at the Platform
    • In-person story & craft events to be held every Friday in November & December from 10am to noon
    • Included with Durham Museum membership or daily admission
  • Remote Learner & Homeschool Days
    • Educational virtual events to be held on 10/14, 11/11, and 12/9 from 10am to noon
    • $5 per session
The Durham is also offering a "Party with a Puppet" option for private events during the exhibition! It sounds like such a cute idea for a birthday or holiday party. 
The parties will include a tour of the exhibit and a puppet themed storytime. Then, party guests will get to use their imaginations to create their own new puppets, and put on a show with their creations!

How to see the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Durham

The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unleashed is on loan from the Museum of the Moving Image and will be at Omaha's Durham Museum from October 3rd, 2020 through January 10th, 2021.

The Durham Museum is currently open to the public but requests visitors reserve tickets online to help keep guest numbers safe. You can reserve tickets up to 5 days in advance of your visit. I'll try to keep an eye on things this fall and update promptly if this changes! Tickets are free for babies & toddlers 2 & under, $7 for ages 3-12, $11 for teens & adults, and $8 for seniors. Visit the Durham Museum website to reserve your spot or to register for virtual programs. 

 For more information on the Durham, check out my post on visiting the Durham Museum with Kids! You can also connect with the Durham on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


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