The Santa Fe Children’s Museum was incorporated in 1985 as the first children’s museum in the state of New Mexico. It is a nonprofit organization founded by four local educators who perceived a need for learning opportunities in the community that would be distinctly different from those provided in school or home settings. Convinced that experiential learning is a necessary complement to traditional education, the founders sought to create a dynamic, hands-on, exploratory environment which included ample opportunity for social interactions. In 1989, the Museum took up residence at its current location and its grand opening was attended by over 2,000 enthusiastic supporters. Now, 32 years later, it remains the only organization of its kind in the region, and has played a vital role in the lives of countless children and families throughout Northern New Mexico.
Basic to the Museum’s philosophy is the conviction that children learn best when they can be self-motivated, have fun, and experience the enjoyment of seeking and searching for answers to the questions they formulate for themselves. The Santa Fe Children’s Museum is based on a simple idea: children learn by doing. Today the Museum provides a progressive and informal learning environment comprised of high-quality exhibits and programming; all of which are designed to encourage active participation in the developmental process. Our 5,200 sq. ft. exhibit floor and 1.5 acre outdoor Earthworks Garden house over 50 interactive exhibits and play structures, themed gardens, and live animal displays. We also host several weekly programs, monthly activities, and annual special events.
We’ve laid the groundwork for a Community Access Program as well, which provides valuable services at no-cost to over 3,000 children from Northern New Mexico each year. This initiative seeks to address the lack of educational support and beneficial services available to children in the region by improving accessibility, promoting awareness of resources, and fostering a love of learning and community. This is accomplished through free field trips for public schools in low-income areas, free memberships to active foster families and recent adopters, and free monthly birthday parties for at-risk youth identified through collaborations with local nonprofit organizations.