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St. George Children's Museum
St. George Children's Museum
Established 2013
Location 86 South Main Street, St. George Utah

St. George Children's Museum is a nonprofit children's museum in St. George, Utah. The mission statement of the museum is to provide vibrant and engaging interactive activities that invite children and families to discover, imagine and create. The Museum's green dragon mascot, “Rufus”, frequently shows up in logos.

Hours and Admission

The museum is located at 86 South Main Street in St. George, Utah. From March through July, the museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm; it is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm from August through February. The admission price is $5.00 per person and children under the age of 2 are free. The museum is funded through admission fees, donations, and financial support from local businesses, foundations, and individuals.

History

Situated in the historic Dixie Academy building, the museum officially opened in November 2013. However, planning began much earlier with an interest in the community for an interactive space to make learning fun for children. Four women--Paula Bell, Althea Southwick, Dawn Sandberg and Kay Bowen--met over a period of years to talk about their vision of providing opportunities for children to interact with intentionally chosen objects to make discoveries of their own. The main challenge was the lack of a proper venue and funds. Gail Bunker, an elected St. George City Council member and part of the early local children's museum volunteer committee, with the assistance of others, presented the committee's ideas. The St. George City Council approved their plans and they moved forward with converting the basement level of the former county courthouse into a children's museum. It gave them a start in spurring more public interest and fundraising.

The Board of Directors was organized in 2010 to address the challenges of location, funding, set-up, and receiving an nonprofit status. The tax-exempt status became official in September 2012, and in 2013 Mayor Dan McArthur and Councilwoman Gail Bunker announced that the City of St. George would allow the use of the historic Leisure Arts Building (Dixie Academy) hoping it would help toward an ongoing effort to revitalize the downtown area. In addition, the Discovery Children's Museum (formerly the Lied Discovery Children's Museum) of Las Vegas, preparing to move to a larger location with new exhibits, sold more than $1 million worth of items for only $30,000. The Museum welcomed its first visitors on November 21, 2013. Since then, the St. George Children's Museum has continued to sustain, maintain, update and enhance its exhibits.

Exhibits

The 10,000 square foot museum contains ten rooms across two levels. The building has an elevator and an accessible entrance in the back near the parking lot. The top floor of the building is rented out by the City for special events and is not part of the Museum.

Lower Level

  • Prehistoric Discovery
  • Red Cliffs Desert Reserve Discovery
  • Sports Room
  • Science Exhibit
  • Music Exhibit
  • Art Exhibit
  • Castle Exhibit

Main Floor

  • Boots Cox Dairy Farm Exhibit
  • Airport and Stephen Wade Auto Shop Exhibit
  • Theater Exhibit
  • Government
  • Zion's Bank
  • Smith's Grocery Store Exhibit
  • Kids at Work Exhibit

The main floor also contains a “Main Street”-themed hallway, lending library, party room, administrative office, and restrooms.

Awards and recognition

Voted Best Place to Take Kids in Southern Utah in 2015

Coordinates: 37°06′25″N 113°35′02″W / 37.10684°N 113.58383°W / 37.10684; -113.58383

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