Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

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Coordinates: 41°42′31″N 73°56′20″W / 41.70861°N 73.93889°W / 41.70861; -73.93889

Mid-Hudson Children's Museum
Mid-Hudson Children's Museum.jpg
West elevation of museum building
Established 1997
Location 75 North Water Street, Poughkeepsie, NY
Type Children's
Visitors 65,409[1]
Director Lara Litchfield-Kimber
Public transit access Poughkeepsie, Metro-North Hudson Line
Website Mid-Hudson Children's Museum Home Page

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (MHCM) "enlightens minds through a fun and creative learning environment where hands-on experiences spark curiosity, discovery and the joy of exploration".[2] It is located in the heart of the historic Hudson Riverfront in Poughkeepsie, just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station, the Walkway Over The Hudson,[3] fabulous restaurants and a revitalized city waterfront park.

The museum is the ideal destination for families with young children. With exhibits that focus on nature, science, literacy, art, music and the local community,[4] the museum provides an educationally rich environment through which children have the opportunity to develop foundational skills, to engage in purposeful play, and to develop interpersonal connections. MHCM exhibits and programs get kids moving, exploring, building, pretending, collaborating, creating and discovering. Key museum programs include playgroup workshops, summer camp, StarLab Planetarium shows and birthday parties. The museum is a popular field trip destination for preschool, pre-K, and early elementary grades, and offers outreach programs to local schools, libraries and community centers.

Founded in 1997 by a group of individuals who believed that children in the Hudson Valley should have access to an innovative learning environment, the museum originally opened in the South Hills Mall. Five years later, in 2002, it moved to its current home on North Water Street - an historic mid-19th century industrial brick building (formerly Innis Dye Works) with a mid-twentieth century stucco addition.

The board of directors of MHCM is composed of nine business professionals who are passionate volunteers committed to creating a world-class museum for the community. The museum’s current staff consists of five full-time employees and seven part-time employees. In fall 2012, the museum hired Lara Litchfield-Kimber as its new Executive Director.[5] Since arriving in September, the new executive director has worked with board, staff and community members to redefine the museum’s strategic vision and to plan by identifying three strategic areas of focus: school readiness, health and wellness, and community building.[6]

In fall 2012, the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum was selected by the editors of Hudson Valley Magazine as one of its "2012 Best" in recognition of its Family Free Nights every 3rd Saturday of each month [7] between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The Museum was also named as Hudson Valley Parent's Tops in Travel award winner for "Places to Learn."

The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational organization and is supported by admission and membership sales, program fees, donations, and grants. MHCM is a member of both the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Association of Children's Museums.

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