The Children’s Museum’s mission is to inspire children’s creativity and stimulate their curiosity to discover the world through playful exploration of the arts and sciences.
Serving children ten and younger, the Children's Museum offers interactive, hands-on exhibits and experiences focused on art, nature and science.
Families can enjoy 'shopping' in the Farmer's Market, salmon (not real!) in the Russian River, creating water tables through mechanical play, fort building in the wild zone and weekly art projects in Ella's Art Studio. Construction on interior galleries and exhibits are underway with an estimated completion date in summer 2015.
How it Started
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County was founded in 2005 with the mission to inspire children’s creativity and stimulate their curiosity to discover the world through playful exploration of the arts and sciences. Since 2005, the Museum has operated through the Museum-on-the-Go (MOG) outreach program by bringing hands-on learning experiences in art and science to schools and events.
In December 2010, the Museum signed a thirty-year lease for two existing buildings on 4.2 acres located at 1835 West Steele Lane, adjacent to the Charles M. Schulz Museum. In 2011, the California Parks and Recreation Department awarded the Museum a $1.8 million grant for Mary’s Garden, an outdoor nature education garden.
A groundbreaking ceremony for Phase I of the Capital Campaign (Mary’s Garden, Ella’s Art Studio, and the Dow Event Center) was held on June 1, 2013 with opening planned for early 2014. The full grand opening will follow in late 2014, when the Capital Campaign is complete and the indoor Science and Imagination Gallery and TOTtopia are operational.
The Museum-on-the-Go is a mobile museum on wheels, which started two years ago as a way of raising awareness and support for a children’s museum in Sonoma County. From it’s humble beginnings at the Petaluma Movies in the Park events where it was basically a table with a few activities – it has grown in size to more than 11 exhibits and activities focused on science and the arts.
Exhibits range in subject matter from magnetism to hydrodynamics to air pressure to expressing oneself through face painting. All exhibits work towards the mission of igniting imagination, cultivating creativity, and nurturing curiosity. For a more detailed listing and description of exhibits, please see our exhibits page.