The town of Fox Hollow has it all — a post office, pizza parlor, shoe store, grocery store and veterinary clinic.
And, beginning this weekend, it will have people visiting all those places.
Fox Hollow is the new kid-sized town at the heart of the Family Museum in Bettendorf. It opens to the public Saturday.
The project is the second phase of the $1.3 million exhibit renovation project that also includes the Rivers and Bridges exhibit that opened in the fall.
Each of the stores in Fox Hollow — named after the Fox tribe that once inhabited the Quad-Cities — features a character in charge of the store. There’s Sal, the proprietor of Sal’s Pizza Parlor, Ben the Firefighter, Mail Carrier Penny and Mei, the owner of Mei’s Shoe Store.
The characters add a human face to the exhibit, museum spokeswoman Elly Gerdts said.
“We’re really trying to emphasize that there are people who make up a community,” she said.
Each of the stores is interactive. Children can measure their feet and try on shoes in Mei’s Shoe Store, pick produce from Farmer George’s farm and take it to the Fox Hollow grocery store, put out a fire near the fire station or put a pizza in the oven at Sal’s Pizza Parlor.
The post office has mail slots for each of the stores, so children can sort the mail and deliver it. Gerdts said there was a similar feature in the museum’s Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit that was popular with children, so they brought back the idea.
“We found that kids would do that for hours if they could,” she said.
Gerdts said the renovation project is part of a museum effort to focus on children ages 8 and under.
Workers from Exhibit Concepts, an Ohio company that designs, fabricates and installs museum exhibits, have been working for four weeks to install the new exhibits, project manager Jed Bettelon said.