Children's Museum looks to future

Amber Aldaco By Amber Aldaco

April 8, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Bree Valdez, 7, watches as a blue piece of fabric dances in a wind power machine at the Children's Discovery Museum.

Bree Valdez, 7, watches as a blue piece of fabric dances in a wind power machine at the Children's Discovery Museum.    Ana Ramirez/ for The Victoria Advocate

Nearly a month after its grand reopening, the Children's Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent is in the early planning stages for the second phase of renovation.

The museum held its grand reopening March 11 after two years of moving to a new location and undergoing renovation at the former Playhouse Theatre.

Since the reopening, the museum has had a steady flow of visitors, executive director Selena Milstead said.

"The museum has been doing fantastic. Spring break was a busy time, and several local schools have had field trips to the museum," Milstead said. "We have more field trips and birthday parties planned, and many families are coming in. It's going well."

Phase two of the renovation is in the early planning stages. The left wing, which is being used for free play, will be the future site of several exhibits.

While the right wing is science, technology, engineering, art and math, or STEAM based, the left wing will feature experience and role play discovery.

"The Circus Tots exhibit will be moved to the left wing, and we have plans for a market, a hospital and veterinarian exhibit and a ranch exhibit with a chuck wagon," Milstead said. "There are also plans for a stage for theater performance, a bank exhibit and possibly a wall climb."

There are also plans for an outdoor play yard and possibly a water exhibit.

"We have big plans coming up," Milstead said.

Jennifer Schulte, marketing director of Citizens Medical Center, a benefactor of the museum, said the hospital looks forward to the museum's future.

Schulte said in addition to caring for the medical health of children and the community, the museum provides a place to learn about medical health through fun activities.

"Our continued contributions to the museum give us the opportunities to do both, and we know what the museum means to our kids and the community," Schulte said. "We are very excited for phase two and for the future of the museum."

The exhibits are in the early design stages, but the museum, which operates off membership fees, visits and donations, will have to fundraise once the exact cost of the new wing is determined.

Karen Mills was visiting the Children's Museum of the Golden Crescent for the first time a week ago with her grandchildren, ages 9 and 4. She has lived in Victoria for two years and said she was impressed by the museum. She looks forward to bringing her grandchildren back to the museum.

"There is such a variety of things to do here. I like how children have to use their imagination with the exhibits," Mills said.

Her grandson, William Mills, 9, said the museum is fun.

"I think this is a place we will come visit often," Mills said.

Keson Chanthanet was also at the museum on that day with her 6-year-old daughter, Chayanoot. Chanthanet also said she likes that the museum exhibits fuel a child's mind, and she looks forward to future exhibits that are enjoyable for children of all ages.

"It is a great place for kids to use their imagination, and they have many things for small children to do," Chanthanet said. "I hope many people come out to support the museum because it is good for the kids."



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