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Wonderfeet opens in new space

There was not an empty seat to be found in the diner as the staff brought out plates piled high with eggs, flatbread pizza and sandwiches. The chef came out of the kitchen, measuring spoons clipped to her white jacket. A patron handed her some money. She counted it and then gave the patron a stern look. The woman handed her a few more dollar bills.

That was the scene of the opening day at Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum on Sunday afternoon in its new location in the former Book King space on Center Street.

The chef was 4-year-old Selene Ross.

The paying customer was her mom, Naomi Ross, who took her two children — Selene and 7-month-old Xavier — to the opening of the museum after she got a taste of it at a private birthday party the day before.

“I just really loved it and so did my kids,” Naomi Ross said. “There is something for each of them to do even though they are at such different levels of play and learning.”

A Rutland resident, Ross said she loves finally having some– place interactive to bring the kids, especially during the winter.

“It feels like a community gem in here,” she said, sitting on a pink stool pretending to munch on a wooden and felt salad.

“This is a place I can bring not only my kids, but friends who come from out of state and their kids,” she said. “It’s something we can be proud of as a city.”

The pink diner that the Ross family sat at was just one of the many displays getting a lot of attention.

The farmers market was also bustling with little shoppers, while the cave with the glow-in-the-dark paint was teeming with explorers and flashlights.

Myra Peffer, executive director of Wonderfeet, said the museum would not even be possible were it not for the continued support — both financial and moral — from the community.

“A lot of companies, businesses and individuals have donated their time, effort and materials toward getting this museum off the ground and making today happen,” she said. “It would not be happening without everyone pulling together.”

Peffer said she remembers when the museum was a volunteer-based establishment, open only a couple of days a week with limited everything.

Now, there are three paid employees and a permanent location.

“It’s incredible that we’ve made it this far,” she said. “It’s so exciting.”

Peffer said they will have an official grand opening day sometime in the near future.

But the unofficial grand opening was enough for the kids.

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By Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | February 09,2015
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