Edwardsville Children's Museum
722 Holyoake Road
Edwardsville, IL 62025
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- Educational Programs
- Saturday Explorers
- Preschool Playgroup
Hours of OperationTuesday, Friday and Saturday
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
To stimulate curiosity and motivate learning in children by providing interactive exhibits and programs.
The Children's Museum was founded in the fall of 1998, in response to a community need for local interactive educational enrichment for children infant to 12 years of age.
On Saturday, February 1, 2003 the Children's Museum opened its doors to the public.
The Museum has greeted over 33,000 visitors.
While on a vacation to visit her father in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1997, Carla Johnson and her family went to a recently opened children's museum. While there, she became inspired to open a children's museum in the Metro East area. Six months later, the idea was still in her head, so she talked to an Edwardsville Alderman and he supported the idea. He counseled Carla on locations and the City voted to lease them the current space, in historic Leclair, in downtown Edwardsville. She also joined a national group, the Association of Children's Museums, and went to conventions in New York, Baltimore, and St. Louis to gather information. At this time, fundraisers were under way to help get the Museum open.
The Children's Museum's first board meeting was in 1999, at which time the Museum became a member of the Association of Youth Museums. This soon followed its approval as a not-for-profit organization.
In 2000, the Children's Museum created exhibit plans and many committees were created to work on fundraising, the location, and putting focus on education. Then, in 2001, the Museum received a grant for $25,000 from Illinois First and signed a 3-year lease for their site.
The Museum also held it's first annual Children's Carnival, which has been a huge success and great fundraiser every year.
In 2002, the Museum hired Christy Tinney as its executive director. The Edwardsville Township donated $10,000, and the grand opening was announced for February 1, 2003. A formal grand opening was held in June. Between February 1 and July 30, 2003, the Museum received over 7,000 visitors. The Museum houses several educational exhibits. It has a medical center, where children can learn what it is like to go to the doctor. Also, it has a house exhibit, and an art and science kitchen, so children can get hands-on experience. It also has a theater and stage that allows children to dress up and put on plays.