After 31 years at their Warehouse District location, the Louisiana Children’s Museum is set to open their new, highly-anticipated City Park location at the end of summer. Many New Orleanians grew up visiting the beloved, interactive museum, and, in turn, have shared the tradition with their children – part of the continuum that so many locals experience living in the city.
However, the time has come to leave the exposed bricks of the downtown location and move forward to a new location, which will include expanded exhibits, a larger educational reach, and a state-of-the-art facility surrounded by nature in the heart of New Orleans City Park. The new expansion helps the museum carry out their mission to further provide educational resources for young children.
The new Children’s Museum joins a group of facilities for the community offered at City Park, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and sports facilities. The museum campus will cover one of the 8.5 acres at City Park.
Such beloved favorites from the Warehouse District location, including the life-size bubbles and the grocery store, have been re-imagined and expanded in the new space. Newly established exhibits featured in the museum will include a 100 foot-long Mississippi River display that tells the story of the river through its bends downstream to the Port of New Orleans, in addition to an interactive, life-size chess board that celebrates the distinctive neighborhoods of New Orleans. Through five indoor galleries, the museum exhibits will place an emphasis on literacy, health and wellness, environmental education, and arts and culture.
In addition to the indoor galleries, the museum campus will include a café provided by Dickie Brennan’s, a literacy center, a parent-teacher resource center, and outdoor resources that connect to the surrounding ecosystem. Outdoor features include observation decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating classroom, and a restorative, interpretive wetlands.
The museum’s ground floor will be dedicated to young children, providing easy access for parents of little ones and strollers. Exhibits will be designed for infants and toddlers under the age of four, and will be a resource for their parents. The downstairs gallery will include a sensory lagoon, a book nook, a discovery zone, and a puppet theater, among other features that focus on early literacy and sensory development.
Also on the ground floor will be Follow That Food, which will teach children about food, following its journey from fields or water and through the port to markets, kitchens, cafés, and kitchen tables. These interactive exhibits include Ports + Cargo, Food + You Market, and a Creole Kitchen Café, among other activations. Dig into Nature is a gallery that will overlook the lagoon, where children will interact and learn about the natural resources available in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region. Nature exhibits include Storytelling Nest, Wetlands Sedimentation Table, Nature Sharing Station, Cajun Pirogue + Buzzin’ on the Bayou, and many more.
The second floor will introduce children to exhibits that celebrate the unique culture of New Orleans. The focus is to invite children to help make their own mark on their beloved city. The gallery will celebrate music, art, history, and architecture through exhibits that include Urban Design Studio, Shotgun House, Jackson Square, Studio in the Park, and Jammin’ House.
The final gallery on the second floor, Move with the River, is where children will explore the Mighty Mississippi River through watery exhibits, while following the journey of one the region’s most ubiquitous resources – water.
Admission to the Louisiana Children’s Museum is $14 per person for adults and children 12 months and older. The museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. With its expansive new City Park location, several areas will open to the public without admission, including the parent-teacher resource center, the literacy center, and Acorn and its waterfront dining porch. The Louisiana Children’s Museum in City Park is set to open late summer of 2019.