ST GEORGE, Utah - St. George kids love the city’s children’s museum. It’s been open only six months, but directors said they’ve already tripled the expected first year attendance.
On any given day, there are dozens of kids roaming the rooms and halls.
“It has been crazy,” said Museum Executive Director MaryNell Lundquist. “Because we’re a smaller community, we thought we’d have maybe 30,000 people our first year.”
But as of June, attendance is closer to 100,000. Lunquist said now they expect the first year attendance to be more like 200,000, which rivals attendance at museums in larger cities. Lundquist said it's validation to directors that the long, hard battle to open the museum was worth it.
“We had a board of directors that stayed with the project for over 10 years,” Lundquist said. “People came and went, but they hung on to the dream.”
When directors opened the museum in November 2013, they were worried they may have to eventually start charging for admission. But they’ve been able to keep it open on just a donation basis. That makes money tight sometimes, but it helps them achieve their goal of providing this education for the entire community.
“I am so impressed,” Ivins resident Courtney Wallace said. “I’d heard that St. George had purchased some of the things here from the Las Vegas children’s science museum. I have to say, it is much better. Each room is more creative, there’s more attention to detail."
Parents said it’s hard to pick just one thing the like about the museum, but Lundquist said the stage room is one of the more popular spots. There kids can control the lights, the curtains, and express themselves through song on stage.
The museum also offers educational classes and summer camps, but if you ask the kids, they love it most because it gives them the chance to be themselves.
“It’s just a place where kids can hang out,” Logan Webber said. “Be who they are and be what they want to be.”
The St. George Children’s Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found on their website.