The World’s First Explorastorium

The 4,000ft Crossroads building at 400 E. 17th St where the Rabbit Hole is now housed.

The Rabbit Hole, the first explorastorium of it’s kind opened it’s door in the popular Crossroads district in KC last month. Described as an immersive storybook world with ever-changing galleries dedicated to the very best of children’s literature, this “explorastorium” for young (and young at heart!) readers is sure to please. There is so much to explore in this beautifully designed space, space now that is dedicated to showing us what kids will be able to do if their new indiegogo campaign works- kids will be able to view original classic and contemporary book art, catch a show in the theater, visit the printing press and bindery, stop by the library, author their own stories in the writing lab, work on special projects with resident authors and illustrators, and shop the bookstore for a souvenir to take home!

The Immersive Gallery

20160501_214255For now, the Immersive Gallery is open!  This is the first full-scale prototype for an immersive storybook experience in a 4,000 square foot temporary space located in the Crossroads at 400 E. 17th St. This month, The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee is featured as the storybook experience and visitors can walk into the world of 19th century Paris where an unknown artist enters the Palace’s Grand Contest of Art and sets off a chain of bizarre and mysterious events. Today, my daughter (an 11-year old aspiring to be an author and illastrator of children books) and I booked a tour and walked through the story. Our tour guide, a very nice young woman decked out as a young Parisian, beret included, read us the story as we walked around scenes from the book. The artwork was amazing as well as the interactive effects such as a lit waterfall and a growling jewel-thief dog! Kids can peer into the drawing studio of Felix Clousseau and “eat a baguette” at a charming Paris cafe. My daughter adored the slide through a scary encounter with a snake and enjoyed sitting on a thrown fit for a queen! At the end of the story, a gallery was set up showcasing the author’s original illustrations as well as the prep and planning for the future of The Rabbit Hole.

The Indiegogo Campaign

rabbitThe Rabbit Hole is the brainchild of Pete Cowdin and Debbie Pettid, artists and operators of Kansas City’s beloved Reading Reptile, a celebrated children’s bookstore and cultural center of 28 years. As founders and directors of The Rabbit Hole, they bring with them a wealth of knowledge, experience and many friends, both local and national, uniquely suited to the project. But they need our help! This past April, they started an Indiegogo campaign with the goal to raise $150,000 that will be used in support of current operating budget, allowing The Rabbit hOle to continue building the capacity and infrastructure they need to advance in planning and prepare for a successful capital campaign. This campaign will run through June 2. For more information, visit or to donate to the Indiegogo campaign visit

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