The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, located at 2 West 7th Street in Bloomsburg, is currently celebrating 35 years as a successful non-profit organization. A 35th birthday celebration will take place on Saturday, June 13 and will include live music, games, face painting, crafts, and of course – birthday cake. The event is free and open to the public.
The Museum was incorporated in 1983 by a group of volunteer educators and parents who saw a need to provide educational enrichment opportunities in our rural area. In 1985, they offered the first traveling exhibit for elementary schools in the five county area. Over the next 15 years other exhibits were built.
At the start, the room sized, hands-on, and portable exhibits with accompanying teachers guides featured exhibits such as Optical Illusions and Puzzles, Body Works, Simple Machines, Electricity, and DaVinci. Classroom kits, presenting topics like Astronomy, Magnetism, Energy and Sound, were soon added to the Museum’s offerings.
With continued public interest, a Summer Art and Science Center was initiated in 1996 and continued for the following years, each with a different theme. After the Museum became a United Way Agency in 1998, a process to acquire a permanent site began. The Museum opened in 2002 at its current location on 7th Street in Bloomsburg and soon became a year-round facility.
Presently, it features 25 hands-on exhibits exploring science, art, history and culture, a Museum On The Go Classroom Kit program, clubs, many special Saturday events, materials for homeschool families, and numerous summer one-week experiences. Exhibits, clubs, and programs are designed for children 1-17, their caregivers and educators, as well as children and adults with special needs.
The Children’s Museum has a mission of enriching the lives of people in the 10-county region by fostering a lifelong love of learning through interactive programs and exhibits that bring out the imagination in every child and the child in every visitor.
Ginny Weibel, Director of the Museum says, “The Museum is a true grassroots organization. It was started by a passionate small group of people who wanted to bring educational enrichment opportunities to our rural area. Staff and volunteers work hard to continue this tradition of offering world-class exhibits and programs that are unique, sustainable and dynamic learning opportunities for youth in our area.”
The Museum hosts a number of large events, including: Bloomsburg Maker Faire, May the Force Be With You Day, Touch-A-Truck, Mini Petting Zoo, Butterflies Live, BloomCON Hak4Kidz, Dino Days, Superhero Saturday, Gingerbread Competition and Display, Middle/High School Science Fair and Turkey Day.
The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum serves 20,000 visitors annually, many of whom are served at reduced admission or for free. Each year, it provides more than 500 hours of educational programming. It is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.