To provide fun through educational and interactive opportunities for children of all ages in a safe and creative environment.
1975 marked the beginning of the Muncie Children’s Museum because there was a need for a child-oriented learning facility in Muncie. A proposal was drawn up and presented to Kappa, Kappa, Kappa Inc., a local philanthropic sorority.
The sorority then established a planning board to determine feasibility of this new endeavor. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Sand Association of Boston were contracted consultants for the museum project. The Sand Association of Boston happily joined, due to their background of pioneering “the kind of learning environment which helps children understand the world in which they live.”
During the planning process, it was decided that all exhibits would require participation and interaction from the children. These exhibits would also be fun, raise questions, provoke interest and stimulate curiosity. This philosophy remains to this day and serves as the backbone of the Muncie Children’s Museum.
Two years after the museum was proposed, the doors opened for the first time in 1977. The museum moved into the old Petty and Walgreen’s buildings in downtown Muncie, but it was soon obvious that the size was not adequate for growth and development. In 1989, the museum’s board of directors conducted a needs assessment and came to the conclusion that a new facility or location was necessary in order to grow, expand exhibits and have adequate space for parking.
The board surveyed many avenues, but the need to serve the total community required the museum to remain downtown; they knew that any other location would limit the number of families able to enjoy the museum. The board then focused on the task of funding. They also had to find a new location and a way to support ongoing operations once the museum was moved.
In 1993, a professional feasibility was done in order to address the response of the community toward the museum. The response was positive, and a goal of $3,000,000 was set. The campaign began in late fall of 1994. Thanks to support from businesses, government and individual support from the community, the goal was met just three years later in 1996.
The new Muncie Children’s Museum leased 24,000 square feet from the local Horizon Convention Center and tripled its size from the previous location. The new museum opened to the community in June of 1996 and has successfully brought educational entertainment to the children of our community ever since.
Thanks to the generous support of local area businesses, the Muncie community and surrounding central Indiana communities, the Muncie Children’s Museum has been serving the educational needs of East Central Indiana communities for over 40 years.
Current Board Members
President: Kira Childers, Ontario Systems
Vice-President: Staci Slavin, Coldwell Banker Lunsford
Treasurer: Andy Roberts, Estep Burkey Simmons
Secretary: Kathy Bartlett, Community Volunteer
Past President: Patrick Burkey, Estep Burkey Simmons
Ashley Anderson, Community Volunteer
Andrew Dawson, Muncie Power Products, Assistant Director of Marketing and Advertising
Audrey Robbins, Walls Furniture, Owner