Greensboro Children's Museums
Mission & History
Today, more than 400 children’s museums throughout the United States break the rules of traditional institutions by encouraging visitors to touch, talk, have fun and learn. In a children’s museum, the audience is most important, not the objects. The exhibits, however, are catalysts for questions, exploration and discovery and the entire experience is a playground for the mind.
The Greensboro Children’s Museum (GCM) is a hands-on, interactive museum for children, their families and teachers. The Museum is designed to inspire learning through play in a fun, energetic and safe environment for children up to 10 years of age. The 37,000 square foot facility in downtown Greensboro includes over 20 permanent hands-on exhibits in “Our Town” and a new outdoor Edible Schoolyard that are designed to stimulate children’s imaginations and provide educational play experiences. It's where play is a smart adventure!
The Greensboro Children's Museum engages all children and families in hands-on, fun, learning experiences which contribute to their growth and development through play, creation and outdoor exploration.
The Greensboro Children's Museum began with one man’s dream of bringing a children’s museum to Greensboro. Jerry Hyman was inspired by traveling to children’s museums around the country, and he began to share his vision with community leaders. A group of dedicated alumni from the Leadership Greensboro program served as the Steering Committee, then launched a Capital Campaign led by Cynthia Doyle. Three years later, on May 15, 1999, the Greensboro Children’s Museum opened its doors at 220 N. Church Street.
The Museum was chosen in 2004 as one of the top 50 children’s museums in the United States and in late 2006, the Board launched a planning process to consolidate lessons learned from its first years. The result was a Strategic Education Plan that lays out a clear educational purpose for the Greensboro Children’s Museum: “To enhance the lives of children and their families through the world of play and to promote healthy and active lifestyles.” The underlying goals of the Strategic Education Plan are:
- To welcome, engage and accommodate children and families from varied backgrounds and experiences
To promote caring about the natural and material world
To tap into children’s natural curiosity and imagination
To engage children in play that encourages them to practice and build foundational skills
To offer clear opportunities for adults to enrich play and deepen their child's exploration