Exhibit opening Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, opens today; runs through Jan. 7, 2007. The Children's Museum, Seattle Center...

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Clifford the Big Red Dog has to be big — and he is, in a 9-foot-tall plastic statue welcoming visitors to The Children’s Museum’s newest traveling exhibit, which opens today.

Inspired by the PBS Kids cartoon (itself based on author Norman Bridwell’s 44-year-old Clifford series), the interactive exhibit lets kids dig through sand for hidden treasures at T-Bone’s Beach; fill Clifford’s giant dog bowl with treats via a conveyor belt; and steer Birdwell Island’s ferry. There’s even a little tot slide at the end of Clifford’s tail for a tame version of owner Emily Elizabeth’s ride on the TV show.

Geared to preschoolers, the exhibit also features a toddler-only area with a crawl tunnel in Cleo’s Backyard.

A costumed character will make special appearances throughout today; the exhibit is open during regular museum hours through Jan. 7, 2007.

Exhibit opening

Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog, opens today; runs through Jan. 7, 2007. The Children’s Museum, Seattle Center House. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; free with museum admission, $7.50 (206-441-1768 or www.thechildrensmuseum.org).

Stephanie Dunnewind, The Seattle Times