BURLINGTON — Kids operated a crane, donned chef hats and prepared toy food, tried out dental tools and more Saturday at the grand opening of the newest 7,000 square feet of the Children’s Museum of Skagit County at The Outlet Shoppes at Burlington.

The museum now has 15,400 square feet of exhibit space open, after relocating from Cascade Mall in March.

The 7,000 square feet that opened Saturday includes the Main Street exhibits, Nordic tugboat, semi-truck, crane, theater and sound booth, music room, Skagit River watershed area, turtle tank, sensory rooms and more.

Sara McCollum of Burlington said the museum is a good option for daughter Ariel Raber, 3, to play when it’s cold and rainy outside.

“(It’s a place) for kids to learn and have interactions with other kids,” she said.

Elsewhere, kids pounded on drums and tried out instruments.

A focus of the museum is to expose kids to various career options, Executive Director Cate Anderson said previously.

Inside a mock dentist’s office in the Main Street exhibit, Dominic Mancillas, 4, poked tools into the mouth of dad Sabino Mancillas. He said his favorite part was another exhibit, where kids could act as construction workers.

Using a crane donated by Barnhart Crane & Rigging of Mount Vernon, kids experimented with lifting and lowering a box of produce.

The museum’s larger facility also features a larger museum store, art room, reading area, kitchen, breast-feeding and pumping room, family restroom, conference room and community meeting space.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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