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CEO & Founder, Collette Michaud
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County’s mission is to inspire curiosity and creativity through joyful transformative experiences.
In 2005, a group of Sonoma County mothers began planning a children’s museum to address the lack of a local gathering place where parents, grandparents, and teachers could support a child’s natural craving for curiosity and exploration. This team of educated volunteers established Children’s Museum of Sonoma County (CMOSC) as a Federal 501(c)(3) corporation in December 2005 and launched the Museum-on-the-Go (MOG) mobile science and art outreach program. Basic and engaging concepts in these two focused areas would become the hallmark of MOG exhibits.
In 2014, CMOSC opened Mary’s Garden, the first phase of the capital campaign, to the public. And a year later, followed with the opening of the Science and Imagination Gallery and Totopia interior galleries. Click here for a complete history.
Museum Visitors & Site
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is a vibrant and welcoming place for all children. It provides opportunities to experience the transformative power of learning through joyful play. The Museum is located on a 50,000sf2 campus with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, which are focused on science, art, and nature for children aged ten years and younger. Programs and exhibits experienced at the Museum have long lasting economic, health and social outcomes for children and society.
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County welcomes low-income visitors through core access programs, described below. These programs demonstrate our vision that all children have the right to equitable learning opportunities to help them achieve their full potential as engaged learners and successful members of society. With funding from committed investors, we offer the following programs to ensure at-risk children have access:
- Family Access Membership (FAM) program gives free memberships to families who need it most. The FAM program is designed to serve families who are not able to afford the Museum experience by offering annual memberships at just $20 (four-person regular annual membership cost is $140).
- Museums for All program. Through this program, anyone with an Electronic Benefit Transfer card (CalFresh Food Stamps) can enter CMOSC for just $2/person (regular admission price is $14/person). The Children’s Museum provides discounted admission to between 25% and 60% of visitors on any given day.
- Pay What You Can program. Visitors pay on a sliding scale basis, including no charge (letting the caregivers decide what they can afford).
Located at 1835 W. Steele Lane in Santa Rosa, the Children’s Museum is within easy access to HWY 101 and Coddingtown Mall. The Santa Rosa CityBus (stop 11) and the SMART Train Guerneville Rd stop are both within easy walking distance to the Children’s Museum.
- Voted “Best Children’s Museum” by the Northbay Bohemian 11 years in a row, 2010 – 2022
- Voted “Best Place to Take Kids in Sonoma County” by the Press Democrat, 2018
- Voted “Best Place in the World for Kids to Play That is not a Playground” by Landscape Architects Network, 2016
- Voted “Top 3 Places to See in Santa Rosa” by Three Best Rated, 2019
- Voted “Best Children’s Education Center” and “Best Children’s Museum” by Bohemian, 2019
- Top Things to Do in Sonoma County with Kids, Sunset Magazine, 2018
Recent Press Releases
- Children’s Museum Community Engagement (June 2020)
- Rediscovery Plans for Children’s Museum (June 2020)
- Space Odyssey for Galactic Explorers Exhibit Opens in Santa Rosa (April 2022) Article Link
See all press releases, click here.