Kirby Science Discovery Center Hosts New 'Building Buddies' Traveling Exhibit

April 25, 2023

‘Room to Grow’ Exhibit and Wells Fargo CineDome Temporarily Closing May 1 to Begin Renovations

Sioux Falls, SD — The Kirby Science Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion will host a new traveling exhibit called Building Buddies beginning this Friday, April 28. The exhibit will help bring fun and activity to the facility since the Room to Grow exhibit and the Wells Fargo CineDome will close for renovations beginning Monday, May 1.

“We are so grateful to host this new exhibit while two of our popular features are temporarily closed. The Building Buddies exhibit will be here through the summer and bring some new life to our building,” says Madelyn Grogan, Director of Education, Programming and Exhibits. “Even more exciting, though, is the work that will be taking place during that time in the Room to Grow exhibit to make way for a new immersive water experience and in the Wells Fargo CineDome to create the state-of-the-art Sweetman Planetarium.”

The Building Buddies exhibit will open on Friday on the fourth floor of the Kirby Science Discovery Center. The multi-sensory environment encourages children in full-body experiences filled with STEAM learning opportunities and includes components designed to promote social interaction between visitors. Taking turns, teamwork and sharing are skills that have been fostered in the suggested activities.

The exhibit tells the story of the Waltons, who are moving to the Washington Pavilion and need YOUR help! They have several projects to complete before their house is finished.

  • Help Eva brighten up her bungalow by painting a wall, arranging flowers and laying a garden path.
  • Lend Pipa a hand by laying tiles in the bathroom, tightening leaky pipes and installing new plants outside.
  • Learn to build Winston a doghouse using all the right steps.
  • And much more!

The current Room to Grow exhibit will close on May 1 to create a brand-new immersive water experience for our youngest guests. The one-of-a-kind exhibit will include interactive, colorful and educational features to help children learn about the phases of water and have fun! Work on the project is expected to be complete by late June or early July 2023.

The Wells Fargo CineDome will close May 1 to install new planetarium technology and undergo other needed renovations. Upgrades will include sophisticated new projectors to radically improve picture quality; new dome screens, making seams invisible for better viewing; a new immersive sound system; new lighting; and more. The Sweetman Planetarium is expected to open late summer 2023.

“Late this summer we will again offer our educational films with drastically improved sound and picture quality. In addition, we are excited to add planetarium films and programming to our daily lineup. These additions will certainly create opportunities for new experiences in our theater,” adds Grogan.

For information about the traveling exhibit opening this week, go to Information about the new Sweetman Planetarium can be found at

About Washington Pavilion Management, Inc. (WPMI)
Washington Pavilion Management, Inc. is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the largest arts organization in the state. The management company oversees and programs two historic City of Sioux Falls facilities: the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science and the Orpheum Theater Center. The company also provides professional management services, including administration; arts, science and educational programming; ticketing; event management; marketing; and more to other arts and nonprofit organizations. For information, please visit