Talk of the Town - Child's play April 02 2003

Loud, rambunctious children and their doting parents play with games and machines — a giant forklift, a banana peel slide, a complex maze. Nestled on the bottom floor of downtown’s Museum Tower, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is a kiddie haven, affording those under 10 and the adults in their lives an opportunity to dive into a wholly different world.

The museum attempts to appeal to a child's imaginative sensibility. The walls are ocean blue and rose red. The floor's design is colorful and snail-shaped. Even the museum's columns fascinate the eye; a vivid photo mosaic column, splashed with human faces, stands in the foyer. The museum's 1,600-square-foot space is divided into five exhibits — Fundamentally Food, Leaping Into Learning, The Morph Gallery, Let Your Creativity Flow and Tools for Solutions. Each exhibit is packed with gadgets and educational tools. The Let Your Creativity Flow exhibit houses equipment for children to build sand sculptures and in Tools for Solutions, mechanical machinery aids children in designing buildings and furniture.

The museum's exhibits may not compete with Disney World-type rides, but kids — as they hammer away — seem satisfied.

$11, ages 3 and up. Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive. 404-659-5437. www.imagineit-cma.org.