The months-long renovations on New Orleans City Park’s Storyland that have closed it to visitors since early July are nearly complete. The themed playground will reopen Saturday, Sept. 28 at noon.
The 63-year-old attraction known for its storybook sculptures will still feature visitor favorites, like Captain Hook’s pirate ship and Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, but will now also include new exhibits and enhanced existing exhibits.
The renovation — which will incorporate STEM activities and interactive-play materials and increase accessibility for people with disabilities — was the playground’s first major renovation in 35 years.
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When the park reopens, guests will be able to explore three new exhibits — Humpty Dumpty, Tortoise and the Hare and Boudreaux the Zydeco Gator. The fourth new exhibit, Jack and the Beanstalk, is scheduled to debut later this fall.
The Little Mermaid sculpture that has long sat perched on a rock in Storyland’s pond will be getting company, as children and parents will be able to drive motorized pirate ships around it.
Part of the science, technology, engineering and math component to the renovations will be a NASA-centered spaceship.
The spaceship inside the Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit will display information on the history and future of NASA’s space exploration with a focus on diversity — including the stories of the first African-Americans in space and black NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who helped send the first American to orbit the Earth.
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The upgraded park will also display the space suit of Charles Bolden Jr., the first black person to permanently hold the title of NASA administrator. Bolden spent nearly 700 hours in space during his 14-year stint as a NASA astronaut.
The $800,000 renovation was funded privately from individuals and local foundations.
Admission to Storyland is $5 per person, and children 36 inches tall or shorter get in free with a paid adult.