Mission: Create learning through the power of play and exploration that connects children to their communities and the world.
A hands-on, interactive children’s museum, KidsQuest encourages learning through play with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Exhibits and programs are geared towards children 0-10 and their families. KidsQuest offers over 650 programs throughout the year including early learning classes, summer camps, drop-off and whole-family science workshops, free art programs and many special events including concerts and holiday programs.
KidsQuest serves approximately 180,000 people per year, and has had over a million visitors since opening in 2005. The museum has won many awards including Eastside Small Business of the Year, Best Birthday Place, Best Kids Store, Best Summer Camp and Best Nonprofit.
The concept for KidsQuest Children’s Museum began in 1997 when a group of dedicated volunteers obtained 501(c)(3) status in response to a survey in Eastside Parents Magazine identifying a children’s museum as the “most needed facility or service” on the Eastside.
In 2000, a professional Executive Director was hired to guide the museum through the exhibit design phase, to form the overall business plan and focus of the museum and to recruit a dynamic Board of Directors. In 2003, A Capital Campaign Steering Committee led by community leaders was recruited to raise the $3.7 million needed to open the doors of the Museum.
Construction and exhibit fabrication began in the summer of 2005, followed by the opening of the Museum on December 11, 2005, in Factoria Mall in Bellevue. The Museum estimated that the visitation for the first year would be approximately 60,000 based on industry standards. During the first year, KidsQuest had over 160,000 visitors – almost triple the number expected.
Visitation continued to grow. In 2012 KidsQuest began the Good to Grow Capital Campaign to find and develop a larger, more permanent home for the Museum. The former Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art in downtown Bellevue was purchased in 2013 and construction began on the building in 2016. On January 31, 2017, the brand new KidsQuest Children’s Museum opened to the public.