Mission Statement and History
Children’s Museums are the fastest growing type of museum in the country and are unique among museums for the large number of interactive exhibits and educational programming presented to visitors. Visitors engage in hands-on experiences that inspire a curiosity for learning.
In 1987, a group of inspired citizens presented the idea of a children’s museum to Lexington Mayor Scotty Baesler and future Mayor Pam Miller. With the assistance of Lord Cultural Resources, a consulting firm in Toronto, the city began serious planning for the Lexington Children’s Museum. The site selection committee considered several sites and chose the current location in Victorian Square. Since first opening its doors in 1990 the Museum has hosted over a million visitors.
Renamed Explorium of Lexington in 2005, the facility is a success with both children and adults. Attendance averages 85,000 visitors annually, and we serve an additional 10,000 with outreach activities in the community. Explorium serves a much broader area than just Fayette County. We have hosted guests from over 90 different Kentucky counties, most states, and even other countries.
Explorium focusing on enhancing growth and increasing awareness in the community of this great family learning environment. To further those efforts the current Mission Statement was adopted:
Explorium of Lexington creates a fun and dynamic hands-on learning environment that inspires imagination and curiosity.
Many new permanent exhibits have been installed recently, including:
- Animal Hospital - learn what it means to be a Veterinarian
- Get Fit - an interactive wall where the projected game responds to your movement
Exhibit development is supported by private donations and grants.
As the exhibits and outreach have grown, we have started and expanded some exciting programs. Our annual Museum Go Round features more than 100 artists under the age of 18 exhibiting and selling their work; entering its seventh year, attendance has exceeded 3,000 people. We host overnight programs with the Wilderness Road Girl Scouts each year. Summer camps teach science, art and culture to middle-school children. Adults attend parenting classes throughout the year, and they can find parent resources in the Wonder Woods early childhood exhibit.
Explorium’s fundraising efforts raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from corporations, foundations, grants, and individual community members. Before the October 2002 death of Lucille Caudill Little, Explorium received a commitment of $250,000 from her estate as a Traveling Exhibits Endowment Fund. The earnings from this endowment have increased our capacity to rent exhibits from major children’s museums in the United States; as a result, we have expanded our capacity for annual traveling exhibits from one to three.
January 2005 brought more exciting change with our new name, Explorium of Lexington. This new name and image will spur continued growth and a broader audience for the organization’s work, recognizing the wide age range of interest we attract to our interactive, hands-on learning environment. We invite you to join us in the coming year to participate in the exciting work ahead