Geelong’s Wintergarden building has had a long and varied life. Constructed in the mid 1850s, the building has been used as a café, army drill hall and brewery. In early 2020 the historic building once again accomplished a total rebrand and facelift, emerging as MoPA – the Museum of Play and Art.
MoPA is a children’s museum, a place where kids can engage with fun, immersive exhibits created in line with childhood education guidelines. The museum was conceived by Billie Georgieff and Tim Mahon, a husband and wife team who took inspiration for MoPA from some of the world’s best children’s museums.
While all children develop at different rates, the exhibits at MoPA are designed for tots aged one to nine. Toddlers can suss out their fine motor skills in the Soft Play area; in the Zoom Room speedy kids can build and race; older kids can climb up to Sunset City for a sweet view of the museum; and aspiring artists can get creative on the MoPA Art Car (a real VW bug repurposed as a canvas).
Exhibits at the museum have been created in line with the Early Learning Framework for Kindergarten and the Victorian Curriculum for Children. As well as general entry, MoPA offers birthday parties and an after-dark program in partnership with Deakin University.
MoPA also has a café, pram parking, low-sensory areas and disability access.