Tuesday, May 4, 2010

DE Children's Museum opens on Wilmington Riverfront

The Delaware Children's Museum opened last weekend at the site of the previous Big Kahuna, across from Frawley Stadium. However, this new tourist destination will serve up more grand slams to the mired Riverfront than their athletic-themed neighbor.
The DCM covers all the bases regarding a desperately needed new market along the Christiana – that being children. Prior to last Saturday the Riverfront was a glut of restaurants, a retail vision that failed miserably due to poor access planning, condos that had to be auctioned off and a state of the art conference center lacking a necessary ingredient; a contiguous hotel.
The A list of politicians spoke at the opening: Senator Carper, Congressman Castle and Chris Coons. Carper, who was given deserved credit for flattening speed bumps during the fifteen year process stated, “Along with a lot of children in the First State, I have been waiting for this day for a long time. I am thrilled to be here to celebrate the long-anticipated opening of Delaware’s first and only museum for children. This museum—with its focus on energy, science, technology and our environment—literally will change the lives of tens of thousands of young people in the years ahead. Their eyes will be opened to possible careers in fields where our nation’s needs are great. They will go on to become scientists, engineers, biologists, researchers, inventors and much more. The Delaware Children’s Museum will be more than just a fun place to visit. It will be much more than just a children’s museum. It will also serve as a bridge to the future; a brighter future for young boys and girls today and for generations to come.”
Five possible locations were considered for the venue. Then one fortuitous day two years ago The Big Kahuna surprisingly shuttered its doors. Voila! A huge footprint of concrete became available. Timing is everything they say. The landmark volcano became extinct and was replaced by exhibits such as:
ECOnnect - hands on activities for kids to get in touch with their environment.
Bank On It - another hands on exhibit dealing with money management.
Studio D - where kids can exhibit their artistic creativity
Stratosphere – an enclosed 30 foot diameter climber
Training Wheels – exploring trains, cars and things that go
The Power of Me – The power of the human body
The economic impact is considerable. The Association of Children’s Museums indicates that 35% of children’s museums are flagships in downtown revitalization projects. (Aisle Say this is sounding good!) It will employ 28 full time people.
Economic studies project that the DCM will bring in 135,000 visitors to the Riverfront annually – 362 days a year. It is estimated that for every $13.00 spent within the museum, guests spend another $12.00 on restaurants, shops, gas stations and other services that accommodate these families.
General admission is $12.00 per person (children under 12 months are free). A full general admission membership is available. Open 9am to 4:30pm

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