Our region has a rich history. This gallery with a store, barn and yard is set in the year 1915, one hundred years before the opening of the new KidsQuest. The actual Bellevue Mercantile was a gathering place for the community. Our mercantile provides the familiar setting of a store with added historical details that deepen the context for imaginative play. The adjoining barn and yard have animals to tend and products – eggs and milk – to bring to the store to sell. The cow wash is a sensory play extravaganza with air hoses, brushes, and cowhide coat.

What am I doing?

What am I learning?

Where can it take me?

Pretend play Animals and people care Empathy
Sorting and organizing  How to compare and contrast Classification
Looking at history The way people live changes over time Awareness of different societies, communities, and cultures
Stacking and matching How to put things where they belong Responsibility
Scooping Volume and weight Math concepts

Bee Box Sponsored by The Lambright Family

Play with bee hand puppets and pollinate the flower garden! Fly around from flower to flower and back home to the Bee Box hive. Kids have fun getting to learn the importance of the bee’s role in nature by lifting our Bee Boards on top of the box.

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BeeQuest Maintained by Rainy Day Bees

BeeQuest is KidsQuest’s own living observational hive. Visitors are able to watch Worker bees building honeycomb inside the hive, Drone bees flying in and out and collecting pollen, and even try and catch a glimpse of the queen bee. 

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Bellevue Mercantile Produce Sponsored by Charlie's Produce

c/o Merrill Images

Experience open-ended play at an old-fashioned market in the Bellevue Mercantile. As a customer or clerk, there is much to do! Play with groceries and collect goods to sort, stock, buy, and sell in the store.

Cash Register Sponsored by The Katri Family

The Cash Register teaches kids the ins and outs of numbers and counting. How much for those apples, eggs, and hardware supplies? Kids can theorize about prices, and fairness of value, and learn about the financial side of trading goods and services while interacting with store customers.

Chicken Coop Sponsored by The BoehmGang

c/o Merrill Images

The Chicken Coop bridges local historical culture, imaginative play, and math. Visitors interact in and around the coop; play with stuffed chickens, and gather, sort, and count wooden eggs.

Cow Wash Sponsored by Smith Brothers Farms

The Cow Wash is a sensory play extravaganza with air hoses, brushes, and a cowhide coat. Kids and adults can use their imaginations and experience a realistic feeling cow.

Food Cart Sponsored by The Johnsen Family

c/o Tom Wear

Pretend to own your own business at a unique Food Cart in the Bellevue Mercantile! Practice fine motor skills by scooping ice cream cones or dishing out the popcorn for friends and family. Then work on math skills by taking payments and returning change. The Food Cart is fun, educational, and sweet.

Weights and Measurements

Weights and Measurements helps kids learn about the math involved in weighing and pricing. Use a scale to weigh lentils and store goods. How much tips the scales to one side or the other?

Worm Compost Bin Maintained by Educator Chris

Check out our Red Wiggler worms doing their work down in the deep, dark compost bin. Open up the doors to see what they are eating, and learn more about how they turn leftover food into usable nutrients for plants.

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