History and Mission
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 programs. 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 The Square. Since first opening in 1990, the Museum has hosted over 3 million visitors.
Renamed the Explorium of Lexington in 2005, the facility is a success with both children and adults. Attendance averages 50,000 visitors annually at the Museum itself and in off-site programs. Explorium serves a broad audience from across the state and country, in fact last year there were visitors from 110 of Kentucky’s 120 counties and 47 of the 50 states – not to mention several foreign countries.
Explorium focuses on being a warm, friendly place where families come to learn and play together. We are also dedicated to being a partner and resource for teachers. To further those goals, the Museum has adopted this mission statement:
Explorium of Lexington creates a fun and dynamic hands-on learning environment that inspires imagination and curiosity.
There are always new exhibits and exhibit refurbishments in various stages of design and construction. Annually, the Explorium offers over 400 unique programs to enhance the visitor experience. These programs vary from toddler and preschool programs every Tuesday – Friday morning at 10:30 to Saturday programs for elementary school children to guided art experiences to special programs including BooSeum, Holidays Around the World, New Year’s Noon, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Chinese New Years.
We have an annual family festival that includes lots of fun and educational activities, entertainment, art projects, bouncy houses, and more. There is also Artists Alley which includes young artist entrepreneurs (all under 18 years old) selling their artwork.
In the Lucille Caudill Little What’s New Room, there is a rotation of traveling exhibits and exhibits that are not permanent fixtures inside the Museum. Exhibits have included Amusement Park Science, the aMAZing Maze, Saddles Up! The Versatile Arabian Horse, Abracadabra, the Science Behind Magic, and coming in March of 2017 Faces of the South - Animals of Antartica.
Since 1990, the Explorium has been a fun place for families. We are now seeing our second generation of families often overhearing parents tell their kids they used to love to come here when they were small. One visitor wrote us a note and said it best, “ I don’t like the Explorium. I LOVE it!” Come for a visit and LOVE it!