ST. GEORGE – The St. George Children’s Museum opened its doors Thursday, welcoming young and old alike to come discover, imagine and create through a thoughtful selection of exhibits and interactive displays.
“After 10 years of planning and working, I can’t believe the day is finally here,” museum President Gail Bunker said. “I am so thankful to all that have contributed.”
The museum is the product of an overhaul and remodeling of the former St. George Community Art Center, a venue that presented some unique design challenges while providing a prime location for this addition to the city’s historic downtown area.
There were three important elements that had to come together to make the vision possible, Tonya Christensen, the museum’s director of public relations, said. Several donors came forward; the Lieds Discovery Museum in Las Vegas received a grant to rebuild and in doing so made its former exhibits the St. George Children’s Museum’s “new” exhibits through a favorable transaction; and the city offered the museum board the use of the Community Art Center building.
Considerable talent, donation and community effort also went into the project.
“I want the people to come see for themselves what the community has put together,” Christensen said. “This is truly a community effort. We could not have done this without the support of our community.”
The museum provides a creative space to help children develop and learn about the world around them, with hands-on labs, devices and exhibits that will help them learn about government, groceries, science and the arts. It is bright, colorful and just the right place for inquisitive children, offering interactive educational and fun displays involving music, the arts, broadcasting, sports, agriculture and everyday life such as grocery stores and a post office.
Cornell Christensen, outreach coordinator of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, brought in two desert tortoises for the opening, along with educational material about desert animals that live in the area.
There is also an aquarium at the Museum, featuring endangered aquatic life, such as the Virgin River Chub and the Woundfin fish to spark the interest of almost any child.
There are no admission fees to get into the Museum, although donations are accepted because “that is what keeps the lights on,” Christensen said.
The official grand opening of the Children’s Museum will coincide with the city of St. George’s birthday celebration, Jan. 14-18, 2014. Address and resources follow the photo gallery.
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- Location: St. George Children’s Museum, 86 South Main Street, Saint George, UT 84770
- Business hours: Monday 2-8 p.m. (members only) | Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Website: St. George Children’s Museum
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