KidsQuest was honored that Dimensions Magazine featured us in their May/June 2017 issue. Dimensions is a magazine published by the Association of Science-Technology Centers and is only available to members of the ASTC.

 GOING BIG IN BELLEVUE

Sixty thousand visitors were expected annually when the KidsQuest Children’s Museum first opened in 2005. When that expectation was exceeded by 100,000 guests in year one, it was clear that the institution needed to grow. Twelve years and $12.7 million later, KidsQuest has reopened in a new building in downtown Bellevue, Washington. More than 65,000 people stopped by in the three months following the new space’s grand opening on January 31.

Inside KidsQuest’s 13,500 square feet (1,254 square meters)—doubling the original building’s exhibit space—visitors now find nine interactive zones for kids of all ages. Toddlers can romp in the Tot Splash section of the Water gallery, find fruit in the Tot Orchard, and hone their motor skills on the Tot Tower. That last one is part of the Atrium Climber, which Shelley Saunders, director of advancement, describes as “part climber, part exhibit, and part sculpture.” Young visitors also can maneuver machines in On the Go, climb up the Story Tree to find a tale, or explore a store, barn, and yard from the year 1915 in Bellevue Mercantile. As its original location was inside a mall, “KidsQuest also desired to have outdoor space where children could experience nature,” says Saunders. Today, the outdoor exhibition Sticks and Stones provides plenty of space for stacking rocks, playing tunes on the Music Wall, and having adventures in the Imagination Playground. There are also three classrooms, including the Art Studio, complete with a working kiln, and Recycle Rebuild, where children try their hands at woodworking, electronics, and more.

Major donors to KidsQuest’s new space include the City of Bellevue, Taxpayers of Washington State (Building for the Arts), King County Building for Culture Program, Republic Services, and the Wissner-Slivka Foundation. —J.S.

 Details: Shelley Saunders, director of advancement, shelley@kidsquestmuseum.org, www.kidsquestmuseum.org

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of Dimensions magazine, astc.org/publications/dimensions. Shared with permission from the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Incorporated.