Mission & History | Kidspace Museum



Mission & History

What is a Children's Museum?

Children's museums are places where children learn through play and exploration in environments designed just for them.  


Kidspace's Mission:

Nurturing the potential of all children through kid-driven experiences, inspiring them to become joyful, active learners. Kidspace is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational and cultural institution committed to serving the needs and interests of children by providing exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning.


Serving over 378,000 guests each year, Kidspace is a unique children's museum that is mainly outdoors featuring more than 40 hands-on exhibits, programs, and monthly events on almost 3.5 acres of space. Kidspace encourages a child's growth and development through explorations of natural environments, investigations in science, and artistic forms of expression that captivate the inquisitive and growing minds of children ages 1 to 10.

From the Association of Children's Museums (ACM):

There are more than 300 children's museums in the world serving millions of families, but every institution is unique.  Children's museums are known for being joyful spaces for learning and play, and much more than just places to visit. In fact, all children's museums - regardless of size - function as local destinations, educational laboratories, and act as community resources and advocates for children.



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Kidspace History:

Founded in 1979 by members of the Caltech community and Junior League of Pasadena, a space for families was developed with tactile, interdisciplinary experiences to bridge the arts, humanities, and sciences. Launching first at Caltech with a pilot exhibit called "Making Senses" and then graduating to Rosemont Pavilion with additional elements provided by ArtCenter and JPL. Finally, Kidspace found a home at McKinley School from 1981 to 2002. The location was only 13,500 square feet, but packed with innovative exhibits and programs that helped form the building blocks of lifelong learning.




Several years and 1.8 million guests later, Kidspace embarked on a new adventure expanding to Brookside Park in the heart of the Arroyo Seco. With a significantly larger campus and beautiful facility with existing structures, the Fannie E. Morrison Horticultural Center and a pergola wrapped in 150-year-old wisteria vines, the museum was poised to have outdoor and natural learning environments unlike any other children's museum. 



Kidspace's current location in Brookside Park opened in 2004 with exhibits that inspire kid-driven learning and family experiences that create lasting memories. The museum has continued to grow with the opening of Galvin Physics Forest in 2012, Imagination Workshop and renovation of S. Mark Taper Foundation Early Childhood Learning Center in 2014, and then Arroyo Adventure in 2016. Kidspace has now welcomed over 5 million guests and is proud to have over 6,000 member families.