Arts, Culture & Humanities
Children (4-12 years)
Infants/Young Children (birth - 3 years)
Our board and staff have long been committed to ensuring that ALL children are able to play and learn at the Children's Museum. We offer a variety of programs that support families who may have historically found Museum attendance difficult for various reasons.
SNAP Access Initiative:
The SNAP Access Initiative opens the Museum's doors to thousands of struggling families by providing an alternate pricing structure for Museum admission. Through the program, families who receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits pay $1 admission per person (to qualify for SNAP, a family of four cannot have a pre-taxed household income greater than $31,590). By removing financial barriers to accessing informal, play-based learning at the Museum, children from low-income families gain access to our innovative exhibits and public programs. These exciting, hands-on learning experiences spark curiosity while promoting early literacy and the 21st Century skills that are essential to healthy development and success in school and in life.
Sponsored Admissions and Memberships Program:
Through the Sponsored Admissions and Memberships Program, we identify childcare centers serving low-income communities (often Head Start) and Title I elementary schools (greater than 50% of students eligible for federal free and reduced-price lunch), and invite them to the Museum for free play. As funding allows, the program also pays for buses to transport school groups round-trip. For schools and childcare centers unable to visit the Museum, education staff takes programs to the classroom. All participating children are offered free annual family memberships, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the educational benefits of the Museum on an ongoing basis.
Studies show that children from low-income households tend to benefit most from positive early learning experiences, which have the potential to boost school readiness and ultimately contribute to broader efforts to reduce the income-related achievement gap.
In fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018), the Museum served over 67,500 children and their grown-ups through the SNAP Access Initiative and the Sponsored Admissions and Memberships Program.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
The Children's Museum provides rich play experiences and a dynamic learning environment with innovative exhibits, ever-changing daily programs and exciting year-round special events. We also take experiences into classrooms through outreach programming and regularly participate in community events. These experiences and programs help develop skills children need in the 21st Century. All school group programming aligns with Colorado Academic Standards, and Museum offerings are guided by the Museum's Education Framework, Head Start's Child Development and Early Learning Framework and Developmentally Appropriate Practice.
Support of our general operations allows us to ensure a strong foundation for success and invest in programs and exhibits, including: 1) The Center for the Young Child, the region's only developmentally-appropriate play environment exclusively for children from birth to age three and their caregivers; 2) Water, a lively, STEM-rich exhibit that invites children to experiment with water and explore its properties; 3) The Art Studio, an area dedicated to creative works using paint, clay, found materials and other media and providing opportunities for children to work alongside professional artists through our Artist-in-Residence Program; 4) The Teaching Kitchen, an interactive space allowing children and grown-ups to cook together while learning about new foods and new cooking techniques 5) Joy Park, the Museum's 1-acre square foot outdoor experience featuring water, sand dunes, zip lines, fort building, and our brand new, exhilarating Adventure Forest experience.
In November 2015, we completed a major expansion, becoming the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. We doubled our public space and added brand new exhibits including Energy, Water, Altitude, Joy Park, The Art Studio and The Teaching Kitchen, as well as a new café, gift shop and admissions area. Since then, we have seen tremendous attendance growth. In fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018) we served 558,198 children and adults.
To ensure we are providing the best experience possible, we collect guest intercept surveys. We gather basic demographic information and ask guests to indicate whether their Museum experience was creative, enhanced their children's learning and taught them something about their children. Data show that guests greatly value the Museum experience with 91.8% of adult respondents indicating the Museum supports learning for their family; 93.22% indicating the Museum supports creativity for their family; and 99% indicating they would recommend the Children's Museum to other families with young children.