Today’s news:

New day dawns at Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn joined Brooklyn Children’s Museum President Carol Enseki and Chair of the Board of Trustees William D. Rifkin, as well as 50 Brooklyn school children, to open the newly-renovated Brooklyn Children’s Museum, an $80 million expansion project that doubles the size of the facility.

Designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Vifioly, the renovation brings the Museum’s space to 102,000 square feet and provides for the museum’s all-new exhibitions, programs, and amenities. The new building, which is now both the world’s newest and oldest children’s museum, officially opened to the public on September 20.

The museum’s imaginative gallery for toddlers is now twice its former size, a freshwater pond gives children a “fish eye view” of turtles, and young visitors become world travelers as they make lanterns for Chinese New Year and bake pretend bread in the Mexican bakery.

Highlights of the all-new Brooklyn Children’s Museum include:

—Neighborhood Nature, a trek through the city’s natural habitats from woodland fields to ocean tide pools

—Science Inquiry Center, home to live animals, including Fantasia, a 200-pound, 20-foot-long albino Burmese python

—World Brooklyn, a streetscape of kid-sized stores each based on a real business and neighborhood that transports visitors around the borough and the world.

Also, there is Living In Space, a temporary exhibition that runs through January 2, 2009, where kids can try sleeping, dressing, and working like astronauts.

Totally Tots is a place for visitors ages five and younger to float toys in the water pond, create a collage in the art studio or sift colorful sand.

Thanks to popular demand, the Museum has preserved the beloved People Tube — a sloping tunnel housing a trickling stream and multicolored neon lights — to welcome a new generation of learners.

The expanded museum also offers a new café and gift shop.

Founded in 1899 as the world’s first museum for kids, Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers interactive learning adventures in the arts, culture, science, and the environment through hands-on exhibitions, performances, workshops, and an extensive collection of cultural artifacts and natural science specimens.

Visiting

The museum is at 145 Brooklyn Avenue at St. Mark’s Place.

A Special Grand Opening discount rate is $5 per person; the rate becomes $7.50 per person starting December 1. Museum members and children one and under are admitted free.

Free Friday Night Invite is a special Grand Opening program with free Friday evenings, now to October 24, 5-8 p.m., and featuring lively performances and fun hands-on family programs.

The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday. There is street parking.

Call 718-735-4400 or visit www.brooklynkids.org for more information.

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