Can you separate a child from a cookie, or a stack of cookies? It's almost like two peas in a pod, pockets and pennies, or Mutt and Jeff. Kids and cookies go together.

The child in each of us doesn't move far from the cookie jar either.Fortunately, the guild of the Children's Museum is presenting the 4th Annual Cookie Lovers Festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 25 at Liberty Park.

For the first time, the Cookie Festival has affiliated with Neighborhood Fair, a collection of non-profit organizations sharing their products with the community. Local bakeries are donating thousands of cookies to the festival, according to Debi Day, cookie chairwoman. Among the participants are Brumby's, Doubletree Hotel, Pepperidge Farms, Schmidt's Pastry Cottage, Market Street Broiler, Little Dutch Boy, Dan's Market bakery, Scott Frtzsche's Pastry, Cutler's Cookies, Neighborhood Bakery, St. Mark's Hospital and Smith's bakeries.

Festival proceeds subsidize admissions at the museum, 840 North Third West. Groups of schoolchildren and their teachers can tour the museum at decreased rates as a result of Cookie Festival support.

The museum itself, if you haven't stopped by, is a unique, hands-on educational experience for families. Children explore science and technology as well as cultural and artistic exhibits. While wandering the halls of the museum, children can operate a telephone switchboard, implant an artificial heart, unearth a saber-toothed cat skeleton or anchor a KIDS TV show.

The museum offers workshops as well. Typical of the classes provided for children are music making with recycled objects, magic techniques, newspaper writing and production, sculpture and weaving with discarded materials or bird identification and feeding.

In 1987 more than 58,000 people visited the museum. Included in that number were more than 260 school groups from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. A significant number of handicapped children also visited the museum. The exhibits are accessible to children with physical or intellectual impairments, and the staff works to ensure that children's learning experience is successful and fun.

The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Count the Cookie Lovers Festival as a learning experience for all. Surely there are a few cookie varieties you have not yet tried, and they are bound to be at the festival. Justify your learning and your increased calorie intake by helping the Children's Museum function and grow!

Bakeries, food service organizations or individuals interested in contributing to the Cookie Lovers Festival should call Mary Kenny at the museum, 328-3383.