Kearney Area Children’s Museum a draw for visitors

Pure Nebraska
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 10:12 AM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KOLN) - From the standpoint of bringing people to Kearney, the Kearney Area Children’s Museum plays a big role in that.

“The Children’s Museum’s mission is to inspire play exploration and discovery through interactive experiences, and so we do that in many ways,” Kearney Area Children’s Museum Executive Director Janell Brown said. “We have memberships. We have about 1,200 family memberships, and we see more than 40,000 people a year. That includes our local community, but also many travelers crossing I-80 and coming through. This is definitely a visitors destination within that.”

The museum is certainly a jumping off point for education. “We do hundreds of field trips throughout the year, including regular field trips for kindergarteners, first graders, it’s really fitting for all ages, but we do see a lot of that initial first field trip with kindergarteners,” Brown said. Many local schools use the facility, and even schools from Kansas and Grand Island come to visit. The museum was founded back in 1989 by local educators. Every exhibit offers something fun and unique for kids to experience.”.

“We are set up like a little town,” Museum Director of Community Engagement Jennifer Back said. “We have a post office, we have a grocery store, a bank, and even a farm because we want to highlight agriculture in our area. Every area is very unique. We have public safety and medical services, and so it gives children a unique look at their own community.” There’s even an area that explores where water comes from. “One of our exhibits is our water table,” Beck said. “It shows children about the Rocky Mountains and how it feeds the Ogallala Aquifer, the Platte River, and how it helps the cranes. It shows how water gets to our homes, and how it helps farmers irrigate. It’s a wonderful hands-on table for kids to splash around in some water, which is also a sensory experience too.”

All in all, this museum is a place of learning and education, and the kids have plenty of fun while maybe being exposed to a future career. “The children’s museum definitely supports education, but it also supports family, and learning and exploring on their own,” Brown said. “We really enjoy being a community source for education. We also like being the place where kids can get out of the house, use their brains and their bodies, and explore all the way throughout the museum.” It’s a hands-on chance to learn and the Kearney Area Children’s Museum.