Living the Dream: Bronx Children's Museum Facility Opens Its Doors to the Public
After 12 years in development, Bronx Children’s Museum opened the doors of our new facility to the public. Woo-hoo! We can’t express how excited we are to finally welcome children, parents and caregivers into the brand new award-winning space and engage with them to play, explore, connect and soar. It was quite a milestone.
The December 3rd Opening Day, as well as the two following Saturdays, were full of fun and activities. Joyful children and caregivers explored all the new spaces and exhibits. Highlights of Opening Day included a book reading of “The Lowdown of The High Bridge” by special guest, actor, author and Museum friend, Sonia Manzano (“Maria” from Sesame Street), art projects in the Wonder Room with ABC Collection artist Charles George Esperanza, and live animal encounters with museum guides.
The Waterways exhibit, inspired by the Harlem River, Bronx River and Orchard Beach, was a popular attraction. Children launched boats, explored how bridges and damns affect water flow or just played with the movement of water. The Harlem River was easily visible just outside the exhibit’s panoramic windows and a mural of the New York Watershed, part of the Museum’s Arts Builds Community Collection, by Bronx-artist Andre Trenier depicted the origins of water on the adjacent wall.
In The Woods, children sorted through objects at the sensory table, learned about garden helpers and patterns found in nature. Details of butterflies, turtle shells and beetles could be seen through the macro-microscope. Most of all, children enjoyed playing inside the life-size beaver lodge and helping to complete the lodge with sticks and branches.
Children put on costumes and pretended to be butterflies, hedgehogs and ladybugs in The Enchanted Garden, an exhibit incorporating large-scale photographs by children in the Museum’s Little Friends of the Museum afterschool program at Roberto Clemente State Park.
The “boat-ride” was a popular spot for children to climb into a dingy and “fish” in front of an immersive photo of the Harlem River by ABC Artist Duane Bailey-Castro.
Children and families explored The Block, an installation created by ABC Artist Charles George Esperanza consisting of a casita and a neighborhood façade. Little ones collected vegetables in the community garden and brought them to the farm stand to sell.
The Nest, for families with children from 0-3, featured soft sculptural furniture, a size-appropriate ball pit and peek-in scenes. Little, little ones were able to strengthen their motor skills and just have fun in a safe space. One parent exclaimed, “I wish I had all this in my living room!”
At the end of each session Charles George Esperanza led everyone in a lively, rhythmic parade featuring congas, claves and maracas. The parade made its way through the exhibits and finished in the front reception area where children and families cheered in community before preparing to leave. The smiling faces made our day especially when we heard one excited 5-year old shout, “I want to live here!”
Well, you can’t live here, but you can return as often as you like, and visit us throughout the Bronx.
Thank you to all the families and caregivers who visited us on opening day, as well as the following two Saturdays. It was an exhilarating start to the opening of the new space. We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors in 2023 with extended hours and more open days.
We’re open and you’re invited. Come play, explore, connect and soar!
The opening of the Museum was covered by several press outlets in advance, while some were on site for opening or visited just afterwards. You can see some of the coverage here:
Bronx Children’s Museum is currently open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 10am – 1 pm and 2pm – 5 pm. Advanced registrations on the website.