WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Children’s Museum is ahead of schedule for its expansion opening later in March.
The new location has 8,000 square feet, tripling its current size, of play space available for children. There is also a private party room.
Des Moines Children’s Museum Co-Founder Julie Burtnette said the museum has been open for a little under two years and continues to impact the community.
“It’s been amazing, because it usually takes seven years to start a children’s museum. It’s kind of the average that we are told, and because the community has had such a high demand for this it just keeps going faster and faster,” Burtnette said.
The museum’s first adult only “Giggle Gala” raised $13,797. The majority of the money will go towards new exhibits at the new museum.
Burtnette said people can expect some favorite exhibits from its current location like the farm and boat exhibit, but expect new activities like a pizza kitchen and car rides.
“I kind of think a children’s museum is serving two purposes. One is that it is for the kids, but sometimes it is for the parents to relax and to just get to watch their kids and interact with them. At other times it’s to know their kids are safe and that they are playing, and they are building that brain structure that happens with purposeful play,” Burtnette said.
People are now able to buy yearly memberships for $125. Children will still have a $4.50 admission fee and adults are free.
Burtnette said new hours will be added to the new location, but are not finalized yet.
The new location is inside the Valley West Mall on the first floor next to Auntie Anne’s and across from the old Younkers store.
The old location will be closed the week leading up to the new opening to move the museum to its new location.
The new location is set to open March 9th.