What's New? Children's Museum of Cleveland
By Eric Embacher
After nearly two years of work, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland has made its grand reopening in the historic former Stager-Beckwith mansion—one of the last remnants of Cleveland’s famed Millionaire’s Row.
The museum features a number of new, interactive experiences for children, such as Adventure City, which is a two-story city-themed playground with a market, construction site, garage, and the kind of climbing opportunities that kids live for (while fostering imagination and burning some of that amazing youthful energy).
A Making Miniatures exhibit features an incredible display of dollhouses, including a replica of the Stager-Beckwith mansion that actually resembles a dollhouse from the exterior, creating an open invitation for imagination and play.
Clearly a favorite, the Wonder Lab gives children a chance to play and learn at large water tables featuring whirlpools, rivers, water jets, and bubbles in this industrial science lab. Here, kids can shoot scarves through a long, twisting, clear pneumatic tube that ultimately drops the scarf from the ceiling to float to the ground like a feather. Cue the fascinated look of awe.
Finally, kids can explore their own creativity in the Arts & Parts Studio, where young artists can don a paint-shirt and create with all sorts of materials to channel their inner Picasso or Rodin.
The museum first opened in a remodeled Howard Johnson’s restaurant on University Circle in 1986. With a lease set to expire, the museum acquired the historic Stager-Beckwith mansion in late 2014, and invested nearly $10 million into the facility. The former mansion provides four times the space it had in its former location and features a large, easily accessible parking lot, a gift shop, café, family restrooms, a sensory friendly room, and space for birthday parties.
Hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. (closed Thursdays), Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday noon–5 p.m. Admission is $12 for children and adults. Children 11 months and younger are free.