Louisiana Children’s Museum at City Park set to open late-summer 2019

Museum leaders reveal designs of the new location at New Orleans City Park.

The new Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans City Park is set to open its doors late-summer 2019. The new museum, under construction at 1 Roosevelt Mall, is nestled on a lush and beautiful 8.5-acre site in City Park.

Photo courtesy: Louisiana Children’s Museum

The Louisiana Children’s Museum will feature five interactive, educational exhibits for children and families focused on literacy, health and wellness, environmental education and arts and culture. The new attraction focuses on early childhood development for children eight and under, according to a release.

Architectural rendering of the “Front Porch” for the new Louisiana Children’s Museum at New Orleans City Park overlooking one of its natural lagoons. (credit: Mithun)

Chief executive officer Julia Bland says the move to City Park allows a “broader holistic approach” for childhood development.

“The new LCM will not only be place to play, but also a place to learn and grow in a new way. In addition to being a resource to support parents and caregivers, the museum and grounds will celebrate the incredible capacity of young children in a wide variety of approaches,” Bland said.

On the second floor of the new Louisiana Children’s Museum overlooking the lagoon, the Move with the River gallery will immerse children in an action-packed watery world where they will begin to explore the story of the mighty Mississippi River. (credit: Mithun)

Favorites from the Warehouse District location, such as the Grocery Store and the Bubbles, will return re-imagined. Other new museum additions will include a New Orleans-themed, life-sized interactive checkers board and a 100-foot long mighty Mississippi water exhibit.

In addition to the indoor galleries, the museum will include a literacy center, a parent-teacher resource center, Acorn, A Dickie Brennan & Co. Café; and outdoor environmental elements including decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating classroom and a restorative, interpretive wetlands.

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The new Louisiana Children’s Museum includes an interactive culinary exhibit gallery called Follow That Food where children will take a playful Louisiana food journey that begins in the state’s fields and coastal waters, ventures through the Port of New Orleans and local markets and ultimately lands on the family dinner table. (credit: Mithun)

Here are more details about the exhibits:

  • Play With Me: Infants and toddlers, under age four, will explore surroundings through exhibits like the Sensory Lagoon, Discovery Zone, Cypress Tree Book Nook and the Peek-a-Boo Puppet Theater.
  • Follow That Food: One of the largest galleries on the ground floor takes It will takes children on a playful Louisiana food journey that starts in the fields and coastal waters and finally makes its way to the family table.
  • Dig Into Nature:  Children will discover the abundance of natural resources unique to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region. Through this tactile and textural set of experiences, visitors will explore the relationships between the diverse resources, ecosystems, plants and animals who live here.
  • Make Your Mark:  Exhibits celebrate New Orleans’ rich art and its architectural, musical, historic and cultural heritage.
  • Flow with The River: This gallery will immerse children in an action-packed watery world where they will begin to explore the story of the Mighty Mississippi River.
Architectural rendering of the Play With Me gallery, a space in the main Museum building designed specifically for infants and toddlers under age four with resources to support parents in their journey as their child’s first teacher. (credit: Mithun)

The museum began construction at the new site in May 2017 after more than 30 years at the New Orleans Warehouse District location. Museum leaders say the move was motivated by an expanded vision to invest in improving resources for the region’s young children, and their support networks and ecosystems.

“There’s no denying that early childhood resources are critically needed, as historically Louisiana has ranked near the bottom in key child well-being indicators,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “We see the new Louisiana Children’s Museum as an investment in the future of our state’s children and families, and I encourage everyone in Louisiana to visit.”

The design was spearheaded by Seattle-based Mithūn, a leader in sustainable architecture, and supported locally by Waggoner & Ball. The design of the new campus is modern and contemporary, filled with light and glass, taking full advantage of the natural park setting.

Birds eye view of the new 8.5-acre, $47.5 million Louisiana Children’s Museum campus at New Orleans City Park. (credit: Mithun)

“A focus on stewardship and sustainability has guided every decision we’ve made in this process. From the selection of the design team, partners and building materials to the programs and experiences we will offer visitors, we have worked to take advantage of our new location, incorporating the park’s natural landscape and environment and highlighting Louisiana’s unique ecosystem of water and plants,” Bland said.

The museum plans for partnerships with local organizations for on-site programs including Tulane Pediatrics, Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Children’s Hospital, LSU AgCenter, and Grow Dat Youth Farm among others.

Admission to the Louisiana Children’s Museum will be $14, with several areas open to the public without admission. Museum leaders say additional free programming and entry will be available to ensure the Louisiana Children’s Museum is accessible to all.

For more information about the Louisiana Children’s Museum, visit the website at www.lcm.org.