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New Moscow Museum Entertains Kids As They Learn

Everything in the museum is hands-on, including this test of lung power.

The "Living Beings" Children's Museum, a new branch of the beloved Experimentanium Museum, welcomed visitors for the first time last month. Now that initial crowds have thinned out, it is the perfect time for youngsters and anyone young at heart to visit.

A giant, hungry-looking Tyrannosaurus Rex guards the museum entrance, an exhilarating introduction to the animal exhibits. Kids are challenged to jump as far as a rabbit and hang from monkey bars like, well, a monkey.

The museum's bat cave — a dark spinning tunnel for visitors to scramble through while frighteningly real bat simulations circle overhead — causes extreme dizziness but proves exceptionally popular with intrepid children.

Kids can test their balancing skills with the skyscraper high-wire challenge. A rope suspended over a projection of New York City streets allows brave little tightrope walkers to cross the virtual sky.

The human body with all its weird and wonderful processes forms the second section of the museum. Kids learn about the digestive process by throwing a tennis ball into a giant model of the mouth and watching the ball journey to the stomach, through the intestines and, inevitably, out of the body.

Then they can follow the human reproductive process from chromosome meiosis through embryo development to birth. Male visitors, in particular, enjoy a weighted vest that simulates pregnancy.

Special care has been taken on simulations of the challenges people with disabilities have to overcome daily. By entering a pitch black hallway, visitors have to maneuver using only touch and guesswork. Kids can also try to read braille and navigate a city in a wheelchair.

Yulia, aged 7, particularly enjoyed the museum's in-house ice-cream. "It is my favorite museum already and I want to come here everyday, I love ice cream," she said.

'Living Beings' Children's Museum. 46/2 Butyrskaya Ulitsa. Metro Savyolovskaya. 495-120-0504. Open Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets: Adult 450 rubles ($7), Child 350 rubles ($5.50).

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