Play Made Smarter

Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples Reopens

Article by Tami Bunnell

Photography by Courtesy of Golisano Children's Museum

Originally published in Naples City Lifestyle

At Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) play equals learning. 

C’mon is a brain-building powerhouse fueled by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities and experiences. The combination of interactive projects, exhibit exploration, and thoughtful questioning is what makes C’mon a unique learning environment for any child and their family. Not only will they have a great time playing together, but also gain essential foundational, executive function skills setting them up for success. 

A new permanent exhibit, Inventioneer’s Lab just opened this year. The Inventioneer’s Lab caters most specifically, to children ages 7-14, although the activities can be enjoyed by younger children with some hands-on adult assistance.

Children who enter the Inventioneer’s Lab are referred to as “makers,” who are encouraged to invent and experiment as they challenge themselves to design the best creation imaginable. Skill-building projects introduce young people to new tools and materials, preparing them to advance to the next step in the process: making. The Lab’s first themed activity is woodworking with hand drills, hammers, connectors of many kinds, and even the use of a modified drill press.  


Open through the end of the month, the Castle Builder exhibit provides a challenging opportunity for builders of all ages to explore, build and play. Kids and their families are transported to a fanciful kingdom where they too can become castle builders, building their own castle brick by brick. 


C’mon also is committed to creating a family experience by offering opportunities for children as they age. Visitors over the age of eight are able to experience Curious Kids, a special exhibit space designed just for older kids. As a ‘No Parents Allowed’ space, they  staff the area and provide age appropriate activities as a safe place to practice their independence.

When taking turns in the Market, impulse and emotional control are put to the test for our youngest visitors. Their hands are ripe to play and practice learning by doing, but they are also doing the hard work of building their thought processes and connections that will be essential later in life by practicing patience and body control!

As visitors grow older and practice these skills within the Museum, their play changes. The frustrations of waiting for their favorite animal in the Adopt-A-Pet clinic become the ability to redirect their play and make a choice to look at the x-rays or construct a tower in our Build It! exhibit. 


Many may think that their kiddos get a bit too old to come to C’mon as they enter into the upper grades, but there are opportunities for high schoolers. As a teen volunteer or intern, many local high school and college students begin to gain professional experience and a preview into many new careers during their time at C’mon.

There are virtual play and learn online activities too.

C’mon is operating at a limited capacity and reduced hours using timed online ticket entries on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Go to


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