The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Children's Museum a Respite for Parents, Kids

 

December 20, 2017



The Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana in Glasgow is welcoming parents to bring their children in during the brisk and windy days of winter. The museum provides an environment that allows children of all ages to explore, create, discover, learn and be creative. Throughout the museum, there are a variety of exhibits that allow children to have hands-on experiences where they can role-play and let their imagination run wild.

The museum is the brain child of Stacey Fast, who over 10 years ago wanted a safe space for young children to run around, while at the same time be able to connect with fellow moms. Over the years, with community support, the museum has grown into a space to allow children to play, interact with other children, a place to host birthday parties, and for parents to get out of the house and socialize with other parents.

According to board member Haylie Shipp, the Museum is “reminiscent of a child’s fort and playhouse, all under one roof.” There are a variety of different exhibits to allow hands-on play, with more in the works. The main area of the museum is sponsored by a variety of businesses throughout the community, including Edward Jones - Bethanie Knight, Eugene’s Pizza, Cape Air and Prairie Ridge, to name a few. With these sponsorships, local businesses are able to build up and maintain exhibits such as a sensory area, a dramatic play area, allowing children to dress up and put on a show, and provide real-life experiences for children to role-play in the post office, the library, the grocery store, the veterinary clinic and the pizza parlor.

The museum also has the Skip Erickson wildlife display and a mezzanine area which has many improvements in the works, including adding exhibits such as farm to table, planes, trains and automobiles as well as STEM stations. There is also a gift shop with toys emphasizing on learning and creativity. There are many toys for the younger ages as well as science kits for those 8 to 10 years old on your holiday list. There is also the Tom and Flora Coghlan Family Education Center, also known as the craft room, which is rentable for birthday parties and meetings.

Community donations, support and grant funds help keep the Children’s Museum operating and updated. Monetary donations are used for the upkeep of the building, grant money is used for the upkeep to the various exhibits and provides the ability to add onto the museum. Local businesses who sponsor exhibits have ownership of that particular exhibit, having to set it up on how they want the children to interact, learn and play.

Some fundraising opportunities coming up include the museum hosting the Star Lab for one week between Christmas and New Year’s. There will be four different presentations, and with a free-will offering, the community will be able to experience the night sky. Yearly, the museum hosts the Skip Erickson Safari, which will be on Jan. 27. This fundraising effort allows those in attendance to bid on a variety of prizes, including a date night in the tree house that is in the museum, with a chef, and a wait staff, as well as the ability to bid on art pieces from area artists and Glasgow Middle School Art Club students. The museum also hosts the “School’s Out” carnival, which is in the afternoon of the last day of Glasgow schools, and “Kid’s Night Out,” which occurs twice a month and allows children a safe, supervised environment to play and interact while parents have a night to themselves.

The museum is always looking for donations, whether it be monetary, time or tangible, such as dress-up clothes for the theatre exhibit, or art supplies. As you are cleaning out closets after the holiday season, the museum is welcoming donations of old art supplies and dress up clothes (as long as they are cleaned). Members of the Children’s Museum Board, Haylie Shipp, Joanne Stewart and Bethanie Knight, could not stress enough the museum is successful because of volunteers. They are happy to facilitate anyone who wants to do anything in terms of making the museum a great place for area families and children.

The Children’s Museum is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 per child and $5 per adult. All children must be accommodated by an adult. You can also buy a yearly membership for $60, which includes entrance fees for up to five people in a family.

For any questions, to book a birthday party, reserve for a meeting, volunteer or purchase a yearly pass, you can call 406-228-4386 or message them on Facebook, Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana.

 

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