The community is invited to join Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland on April 25 at 10 a.m. to kick-off construction of the new Children’s Museum of Tacoma at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This 8,000 square foot interactive play space will undergo a $5 million renovation, including installation of all new exhibits, over the course of the next nine months. This free community event will be held at the new museum site, 1501 Pacific Avenue. The program will include well-wishes, light refreshments, and playful surprises. Please RSVP to (253) 627-6031 or http://www.childrensmuseumoftacoma.org/special-events . A year ago, the museum signed a contract to lease 8,700 square feet on the first floor of the United Way building at 1501 Pacific Avenue and launched a $7 million capital campaign to open the doors to an all-new museum, eliminate financial barriers to attendance by offering “Pay As You Will” admission, and sustain the museum’s free early learning program, Play to Learn, in the community.
The new museum will open to the public January 14, 2012. To date, the museum has raised just over 37 percent of the $7 million campaign total. A recent $250,000 naming gift from the KeyBank Foundation will enable the museum to offer free admission for the first five years of operation, helping deliver equal access to the museum’s educational play and life skill-building programs to all South Sound children. Early capital campaign supporters include Sequoia Foundation, Norcliffe Foundation, Key Bank, George Russell, and generous individual donors. Additional support comes from SiteCrafting, BCRA, and parenting media sponsor, ParentMap.
In addition to the construction kick-off event, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma is celebrating its 25th birthday in 2011. The museum is hosting special birthday programs on the 25th of every month in 2011, including April 25th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As part of the birthday celebration, the museum will offer $.25 admission on each of these days. There will also be many birthday-themed crafts and activities, including bubble parades, playdough cupcake decorating, and face painting. The museum’s Zing! exhibit will include birthday props for children to play with, and museum play guides will lead a Silver Present Treasure Hunt.