Imagination is a powerful thing. At the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville, children are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild — all while developing lifelong habits of creative expression, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.
With more than 18,000 square feet, there is almost no end to the activities children (and adults) can explore at cMoe. The museum includes galleries with a theater, a ball canon, and a miniature river, cowbells, racing cars, and a giant climbing carrot. And, of course, there is the Quack Factory, which takes up two levels and offers the opportunity to get your hands wet.
“cMoe is important to Evansville because of early child development,” says Ashley McReynolds, director of marketing and development at cMoe. “We like to think of ourselves as an important piece in that. We want to continue having children grow and learn and really spark their creativity as well. We also help them learn in other ways they wouldn’t think of.”
Started in 1990 by the Junior League of Evansville, the Hands on Discovery Museum was located in Washington Square Mall. But after the need for a larger facility became clear, the museum closed for two years, was renamed cMoe, and reopened in 2006 inside the former Central Library location.
New to cMoe is the exhibit Fantastic Plastic. Thanks to donations from Sabic, a company based out of Massachusetts specializing in innovative plastics, children can now learn all about plastic, its everyday uses, and how it changes our world. The staff is currently working on constructing the pin wall, which should be coming to the Fantastic Plastic gallery in 2015.
The museum also hosts school field trips, birthday parties, museum events, and themed summer camps. With camps for children of all ages, cMoe’s spy themed summer camp is the most popular among camp goers, but the museum has offered other themes like dinosaurs and pirates in the past. For birthday parties, cMoe takes care of everything; they make the invitations, provide the cake and pizza, offer a party host to lead the kids in a craft project, and clean up the mess once the party is finished.
Those adults who want to explore the museum without a child have the opportunity when cMoe hosts the Way Late Play Date in May. For one night on Fifth Street, the museum provides beer, cocktails, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Also, adults are able to enjoy karaoke, trivia, and, of course, the museum exhibits.
Spring is a busy time for the nonprofit, volunteer-based museum to provide children with the experience to learn in a nontraditional way.
For more information about the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville, call 812-464-2663 or visit cmoekids.org.