Get your cat fix at the Dr Seuss Museum, where you’ll get a mega dose of cat. In the cat world, Dr. Seuss’s’ Cat in the Hat’ books makes him a hero. And any cat lover on vacation in New England should definitely visit to his museum in Springfield, MA.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and near-by Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in downtown Springfield (21 Edwards Street), honors one of the most inspirational children’s authors of all time. Dr. Seuss published over 60 children’s books and is the ninth best-selling children’s author of all time.
If you happen to be in Springfield on March 2, it’s even better. March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and there are tons of additional activities to celebrate this special day. The Amazing World of Dr Seuss Museum, opened in 2017. It is an appropriate location as Dr. Seuss grew up this city in Western Massachusetts.
Today, we are including the Dr. Seuss Museum in our Cat Tourism section, and highlighting it as one of the must visit cat museums in the United States.
While the Dr. Seuss Museum is open, all COVID-19 safety precautions are in effect. It is suggested to call for advance reservations. Also contact their website for more details. If you are uncomfortable traveling now, this post also can serve as inspiration for future travel.
We find that Dr. Seuss, (real name Theodore Geisel) published ‘The Cat in the Hat’ in 1957 (it was one of my favorites as a kid), centering on a tall anthromorphic cat who wears a very tall red and white striped hat along with a red bow tie. This is the 44th best selling children’s book, selling more than 650 million copies. No wonder you’ll get a big dose of cat from a visit to the Dr. Museum.
Although The Cat in the Hat may be one of Dr. Seuss’s most popular stories, it was actually his 15th children’s book published, printed in 1957. The first was And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which in all likelihood was inspired by Ted’s childhood memories of Springfield. It was published in 1937 after 27 other publishers had rejected it, letting us know that even almost a century ago, it was not easy to get published.
Dr. Seuss published over 60 children’s books and is the 9th best-selling children’s author of all time. Included in this list of children’s books are:
- The Cat in the Hat
- The Grinch who Stole Christmas
- The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The Lorax
- Horton Hears a Who
Did you know:
Although Dr. Seuss often wrote about cats—and one cat in particular—Ted Geisel kept dogs as his pets of choice. His very first pet dog was actually a stuffed dog which he named Theophrastus. You can view Theophrastus upstairs in Ted Geisel’s sitting room. His first real dog was a Boston bull dog named Rex who liked to walk on just three of his four legs.
What you’ll see:
You’ll get a big dose of cat at the Dr. Seuss Museum. The artwork of the newly discovered and published What Pet Should I Get? (2015) features photos of Ted and his pets. This is an ideal spot for taking a breath and relaxing with a book. It also houses a small theater for puppetry performances which can also serve to show some of Dr. Seuss’s animated classics.
At Paws, we were intrigued by the possibility of finding a host of cat places to see around the world. We are writing a whole section on cat tourism, and you may want to check out some of our posts about cat tourism and events.
- Poland’s Cat Museum Ideal for Cat Lovers
- Virtual Museum Tours for Cat Lovers
- Cat Tourism on the Rise & Why We Are Writing About It
- Hurricane Irma’s Cat Heros Work to Keep Cats Safe at Ernest Hemingway Museum
- Best Selling Author Gwen Cooper tells how cat tourism events help cats
Visit the Dr. Seuss Museum for your big dose of cat
Phone: 1.800.625.7738; (413) 263-6800
Location: 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA 01103
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, Sundays, 11 am – 5 pm
Other fun Dr. Seuss facts
While extremely popular, we find The Cat in the Hat has a bit of interesting history.He thought the then well-known Dick and Jane reading primers were extremely boring. He wrote the book to make it more interesting for kids to learn to read.
In addition to writing as Dr. Seuss, he used the pen names of Theo LeSeig and one Rosetta Stone (not be to be confused with the language teaching software).
His last published book was ‘Oh, The Places You Go’ in 1990.
He died in 1991 at the age of 87.
How the museum got started
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum was developed as a partnership between the Springfield Museums and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., as a tribute to the Springfield native. the Springfield Museums offer access to five world-class museums, including the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, all under a single admission.
Where did he come up with the name, Dr. Seuss. Simply put, it was his middle name. His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as the most beloved children’s book author of all time. He wasn’t a doctor, but he used Dr. to appease his father who wanted him to pursue a career in medicine.
He was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated over 45 books for children. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world.
While Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.
Dr Seuss Day is March 2, his birthday. It is also NEA’s Read Across American Day, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. This day was born on March 2, 1998.
His birthday kicks off March’s National Reading Month. Teachers design contests, family library events, and even pajama and pillow days to provide cozy mornings of uninterrupted reading.
Get your cat fix at the Dr Seuss Museum
The Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA is a tribute to Dr. Seuss. Located at 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA, the Amazing World of Dr Seuss Museum, opened in 2017.
While there is way too much to cover in this blog post, we bring you an overview of what the museum has to offer, and point of why you should get your cat fix at the Dr Seuss Museum.
The Museum contains three floors of exhibition experiences. One admission gets you in to all museums on the ‘Quad’, which is like walking into one of his children’s books.
- Interactive exhibits
- Artwork that never been publicly displayed
- Explanations of how his childhood experience in that city 90 miles west of Boston shaped his world.
Not surprisingly, the museum is targeted towards children. The museum has several rooms on the main floor with interactive sculptures, exhibits, and original and reproduced artwork from Dr. Seuss.
The Upper Level
The upper level has original oil paintings, a recreation of Geisel’s studio, complete with his drawing board and other original items, and family and fan correspondence.
The Second Floor
The second floor, curated by Geisel’s two step-daughters and great nephew, recreates Geisel’s studio and living room (with the furniture and art materials he actually used) and features never before publicly displayed art, family photographs and letters, and the original Geisel Grove sign which used to hang in Forest Park. You can even find Theophrastus, the toy stuffed dog Geisel’s mother gave to him when he was a boy in Springfield.
The Basement, Cat’s Corner
The basement, called Cat’s Corner, has art workspace and copies of Dr. Seuss Books to read.
The whole first floor is devoted on kids…The fully bilingual (Spanish and English) first floor features:
Family friendly, interactive exhibits exploring Dr. Seuss’s Springfield roots
Providing opportunities to experiment with new sounds and vocabulary
Play rhyming games
And invent stories–all in line with Geisel’s revolutionary role in changing how we learn to read
The First Floor
The first floor is designed for children and families and explores Theodor Geisel’s childhood in Springfield as well as the characters and stories that sprung from his imagination through three-dimensional colorful displays with interactive components.
Exhibitions on the first level include:
- ENTRY HALL: Enjoy the Mulberry Street Mural and sit on a motorcycle beside a Mulberry Street police officer. Many believe Springfield’s Indian Motorcycles helped inspire the motorcycles ridden by the officers in And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street (1937).
- FAIRFIELD STREET: This is an introduction to historic Springfield, the Springfield Ted knew as a boy in the early twentieth century. Geisel moved to 74 Fairfield Street when he was two years old and lived there until he went to college at Dartmouth.
- TED IN SPRINGFIELD: These interactive exhibits celebrate the influences Ted’s childhood had on his art.
- A replica of Ted’s childhood home, 74 Fairfield Street, includes a touchscreen where visitors can “draw” on the bedroom walls as Ted famously did as a child. Unlike many mothers, Ted’s mom was delighted by his whimsical crayon animals.
- In The Seuss Bakery, children can role-play in a bakery similar to the one that Ted’s maternal grandparents ran on Howard Street. Children can pretend to bake their own pies, or pretend to take orders and sell pies using a cash register.
- At McElligot’s Pool, inspired by the book McElligot’s Pool (1947), children can play a digital fishing game surrounded by the multicolored fish from Ted’s famous book as they learn about how Ted and his father enjoyed fishing when he was growing up in Springfield.
- The Moose Juice and Goose Juice Factory, with its whimsical piping and artisan glasswork, displays the fascination of conveyor belt production. Ted’s family co-owned a brewery called Kalmbach and Geisel until prohibition. In this area, children have an opportunity to play with light, sound, gears and gadgets as they explore a factory-like setting. Inside the structure, the Moose Juice and Goose Juice from Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book (1962) are bottled before their eyes.
- In The Forest Park Zoo, inspired by If I Ran the Zoo (1950), children can play inside a replica of Springfield’s Zoo in Forest Park which was run by Ted’s father. The fantastical characters from the fictitious McGrew Zoo peek out the windows and inhabit the play area, serving as benches for families. Children can construct their own wild animals using LEGO block
Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
More than 3 million people have visited the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums since it opened in 2002. The sculpture garden celebrates Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, in the city in which he was born and raised. Following Geisel’s death in 1991, his wife, Audrey, authorized the Museums to create the memorial, and since that time, the sculpture garden has attracted crowds of Dr. Seuss fans to frolic alongside his beloved characters. Sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, who is also Geisel’s step-daughter, created the endearing bronze sculptures. A gallery devoted to the creation of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is located on the second floor of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, which opened fifteen years after the sculpture garden was installed.
Due to the popularity of the Dr. Seuss Museum, guests who plan to visit on the weekends or during school vacation are encouraged to make reservations to help ensure an opportunity to experience the new museum. We are using timed entry tickets in order to permit plenty of room for guests to enjoy the interactive exhibits in the new museum. Please note: Reservations/advance tickets are available at full-price only.
Get an even bigger cat fix at the Dr Seuss Museum
There is truly something for everyone at the Springfield Museums.
- The Springfield Science Museum is a premier STEM and STEAM informal learning center, with the Smithsonian Spark!Lab hands-on invention space along with the Seymour Planetarium and soon to open International Space Station exhibit. The Science Museum also has a live animal center and dinosaur hall.
- The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts features works by Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet, plus world-renowned print collections from Japan and by Currier & Ives.
- The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History showcases immersive, hands-on traveling exhibits as well as permanent exhibits highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit of the region as seen through manufacturing.
- The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is a Victorian-era single collector museum filled with paintings, Asian decorative art and armor, and remarkable Islamic art. Smith’s belief in the power of beauty and diversity makes this collection ever relevant.
- The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden honors Springfield native Theodor Geisel and the beloved characters he brought to life in his books.
- The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum is an immersive, hands-on/minds-on celebration of Theodor Geisel, who was born and raised in Springfield. In addition to interactive exhibits on the ground floor, the second floor includes a recreation of Dr. Seuss’s art studio, and the lower-level is a maker-space called The Cat’s Corner.
The Springfield Museums also offer weekly lectures, docent tours, museum courses and trips, plus special events. For kids and families, there are fun activities every weekend, art and science courses, plus family performances and live-animal demonstrations. There’s also a whole online educational series for teachers to celebrate NEA’s Read Across America program.
Seussville, a playground in cyberspace
Dr. Seuss, not only has a brick and mortar museum, but he also has a playground in cyberspace. The Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-Am, Horton, Whos, and the rest of the Seuss characters welcome you to Seussville. Here you can play games, chat with the Cat in the Hat, win prizes, find out about new Dr. Seuss books and CD-ROMs, and more!
While Dr. Seuss’ books remain popular, some of Dr. Seuss’ works have become controversial. Visit the website for more info on that. Today, we are celebrating his works about cats, and their connection with cat tourism.
Did you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? Have you ever visited the Dr. Seuss Museum? If so, share your story and photos. We’d love to see them. We’d also like you to sign up for our email list (and forward this to your friends too) to get your FREE GUIDE To Stop Your Cat from Destroying Your Sofa.