Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield MA

Basketball Hall of Fame, Curious George & PBS Kids

Public TV station WGBY is hosting a PBS Kids fan fair event at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 25.

PBS Kids offers some of the most recognizable and trusted children’s programs and characters on television. On Saturday, Feb. 25 western New England youngsters get their chance to celebrate those TV shows and characters in person at the WGBY Love for Learning, a PBS Kids fan fair at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.

Hosted and organized by WGBY, the region’s public television and PBS member station, the children’s event is sponsored by Baystate Children’s Hospital and media partner MassLive. It features live appearances by characters, PBS Kids show-themed activity stations, and tabletop experiences from nearly two dozen community health, cultural, and education partners and children’s book authors/illustrators.

“PBS Kids isn’t just about the consumption of content,” said WGBY Director of Community Relations and Events Marie Waechter. “It’s about engagement. We want families to come to the WGBY Love for Learning event eager to express themselves, to showcase their own relationship with PBS Kids characters. It’s not just about meeting Curious George; it’s about being able to tell Curious George, face to face, why you love him.”

Indeed, Curious George will be available for real-life hugs and interaction. The precocious primate will be joined by other live PBS Kids characters, too, including The Cat in the Hat and Buddy from Dinosaur Train. In addition, the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo will make a special appearance alongside his PBS Kids friends.

While the WGBY Love for Learning event is a free event for walk-ins — and all the characters will be on hand throughout the day to meet with any and all attendees — there are real benefits for those wishing to register early. With an early online registration ( in support of public educational programming ($10/adult; $5/child), early registrants will enjoy Express Admission and a special exclusive private character greeting.

At 10 a.m. the morning of Saturday, Feb. 25, Curious George and other characters will be waiting in a private room of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to meet early registrants. That means shorter lines, better photo ops, and maybe even an extra hug or two.

The WGBY 2016 Love for Learning PBS Kids fan fair comes on the heels of the station’s expansion of children’s services. Earlier this month, WGBY Kids became a 24/7 multiplatform offering, airing PBS Kids shows around the clock and offering an online, mobile-friendly digital stream with accompanying games, activities, and resources for kids and families.

“For over 40 years, WGBY has offered a steady stream of engaging, educational PBS Kids programming that sparks kids’ imaginations and fosters a life-long love of learning,” says WGBY Interim General Manager Lynn Page. “The new 24/7 PBS Kids channel builds on that mission, providing an essential service for children, parents, and teachers alike.”

The WGBY Love for Learning event in Springfield on Feb. 25 is designed to support the educational programming of the all-new WGBY Kids services.

Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite PBS Kids character and participate in costume parade. Children will also enjoy PBS-themed program stations, at which they can enjoy creative, informative activities.

Activity stations will be set up throughout the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Each station will be themed to a PBS Kids show or hosted by a guest partner. PBS Kids shows being represented include:                        

Child health and education partners include 413 Families, AIM, Baystate Children’s Hospital, Child Learning and Development Lab at Amherst College, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Macaroni Kid, R. Michelson Galleries, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Springfield City Library, Springfield Community Music School, Springfield Museums, UMass Amherst Laboratory of Medical Zoology, WGBY Education Services, the WGBY Volunteer Guild, and The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center. 

Gluten-free snacks will be available from East Hartford-based Bakery on Main.

Love for Learning activity stations are still available for potential partners. To discuss hosting an activity station for children and families, contact Marie Waechter at

In addition to the celebration of PBS Kids, storytelling in arts and words will be honored in general. Attendees will getto know the people behind favorite children’s books. Plus, the Eric Carle Museum is hosting book sales and signings, and R. Michelson Galleries will be bringing a display of original illustration artwork.

“There is a straight line, a continuum, that begins with authors and illustrators, leads to educational television programming, and then develops further into games and interactive content,” Waechter explains. “Our Love for Learning event aims to represent all the points along the creative spectrum relating to PBS Kids.”

Local children’s authors and illustrators in attendance will include Angela Diterlizzi, Tony Diterlizzi, Jarret Krosoczka, Jeff Mack, Heidi Stemple, and David White. Each will host an activity station and be making a presentation or reading in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame theater.

Admission to the WGBY 2017 Love for Learning PBS Kids Fan Fair is free the day of the event with recommended donation. To reserve your spot early, and to gain Express Admission and a special exclusive private character greeting, visit The early online registration requires a donation of $10/adult, $5/child.

Event attendees will receive discounted admission to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame museum (optional) on the day of the event.


WGBY ( is a community-supported public broadcasting organization connecting the people of western New England to events, ideas, and each other through national PBS programming and locally produced series and specials. With four digital television channels, video on demand, podcasting, and streaming video, WGBY is one of the region’s most accessible community institutions. WGBY is available over the air on digital channel 57-1 and on cable throughout western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut and can be seen in high definition in western Massachusetts at Comcast 857, Time Warner 1807, Charter 782, and over the air on channel 57.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a fantastic destination for everyone from lifelong basketball fans to families with children who are just beginning to explore the world's most popular sport. The museum houses more than three hundred inductees and more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history. There are several exhibits and interactive games throughout the Hall of Fame that are fun for children of all ages.

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