Midwest Living Review
The mission at Phelps Youth Pavilion is to get kids interested in art. Clearly, they've found a lot more ways to do that than just handing children some paintbrushes or crayons. The Pavilion (an extension of the Waterloo Center for the Arts that opened in 2008) is filled with all sorts of innovative activities that will help youngsters think about the creative process. The first floor is for younger kids, with several activities related to the artwork of famed Iowa painter Grant Wood. Children can sit on a tractor and drive it through landscapes from Wood's paintings, or they can create their own landscape. After arranging miniature barns and trees, kids can look at an overhead monitor to see how their farm looks from various angles. On the second floor, the activities are aimed at slightly older kids--and they can climb up there through cubbyholes. Once upstairs, children can create their own puppet show, design a house or hang art on the walls of their own gallery. The Pavilion also includes the Art House Cafe, which serves sandwiches and salads.