Marbles Kids Museum
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (May 2012)|
Its mission is to "inspire imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences."  It was created through the merger in 2007 of two existing children's museums: Exploris and Playspace.
|Marbles Kids Museum|
|Location||Raleigh, North Carolina|
Marbles Kids Museum offers "unique hands-on interactive experiences that inspire children to be creative thinkers and active learners." Its permanent exhibits are intended for children under 10 years of age and include Around Town, Splash!, IdeaWorks, Power2Play, and Moneypalooza. Daily activities and numerous special events are organized around Marbles' five core initiatives: 1) Be Healthy, Be Active; 2) Create, Innovate; 3) Connect and Communicate; 4) Build Your Brain; and 5) Grow up Green. Marbles offers affordable daily admission and annual memberships and access programs for children from low-income families and children with disabilities.
The Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre is North Carolina's only Giant Screen certified 3D theater and features a screen five stories high, and a sound system capable of supplying 12,000 watts of surround sound. The theater plays short educational IMAX documentaries, along with Hollywood feature films.
Marbles predecessor Exploris opened in 1999 as a $39.5 million state-of-the-art interactive global learning center. While praised for its architecture and lofty educational goals,[who?] attendance never met expectations. Playspace was an interactive children's museum aimed at preschool through early elementary age children. The move to the former Exploris space is the third move to a larger location in the museum's history. Playspace was originally located two blocks south of Marbles in City Market. It remained there until the late 1990s, moving to 410 Glenwood Avenue in a former dairy building. The non-profit museum received some funding from Wake County but was largely funded by corporate sponsorships of individual exhibits as well as the $5 per person admission price and memberships. In the summer of 2007, the two museums closed. Playspace moved into Exploris' building, and a new name for the combined museums was chosen. Marbles was selected to reflect the museum's unique 2-story stainless steel wall grid inset with over 1.2 million marbles. The name was released to the public on September 29, 2007, the same day the new museum opened to the public.