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Wegmans sponsoring educational play area at the Smithsonian

Wegmans is headed for the Smithsonian Institution.

The Rochester-based grocer will open Wegmans Wonderplace in the new Innovation Wing at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Wednesday. It has committed to keeping the gallery open for the next 20 years.

The 1,700-square-foot center will have six interactive centers and 100 artifacts on display. It will feature activities for children age 6 and younger.

Kids can plant and harvest toy vegetables, run a farm stand and learn to cook in a replica of Julia Child’s kitchen, They can also play in a replica of the Smithsonian’s Castle building and a kid-sized version of one of the Institution’s model tugboats.

Wegmans spent $1.5 million on the project.

Wegmans’ also has an exhibit at the Strong Museum in Rochester. The Super Kids Market allows children to “shop” a kid-sized Wegmans store, filling child-sized carts, weighing produce and ringing up sales. The grocer is also planning a Farm to Fork exhibit at the Explore & More Children’s Museum and an interactive nutrition and wellness exhibit at the Museum of Science.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com