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Posted: February 20, 2014 Hundreds of kids enjoying new second floor



The Children's Museum of Eau Claire on Barstow Street opened its new second floor exhibits this past November. It has been a long time in the works for the museum. The completion happened since the museum's fundraising goal was met in the "Top It Off" campaign this past June and help from donors within the community.

The exhibit committee wanted to create a "Wisconsin theme," according to Traci Messner, Creative Kids Director, and just "build off from there." The majority of the inspiration came from that idea, added Messner, especially for the family farm exhibit because it captures the "America's dairy land" vibe.

Since the second floor opened, Messner said the only real difference about the second floor is the setup is spread out more, but for the most part everything is "still hands on, and still the same museum."

The new exhibits include a camping area, where children can pretend to drive a vehicle out to the site and huddle in the tent or play by the fire. There is also an area where children can go fishing where rods have magnet hooks to catch fish.

The "family farm," is where kids can actually milk a cow and sit in a John Deere tractor. The second floor also holds an IPad station with various games and a large building block area for kids to build their own forts and even knock them down if they wish.

As for the museum's future, "There is another exhibit to look forward to in the next year," said Phil Rechek, Director of Finance and Administration. Rechek said the exhibit committee has not finalized the plans yet, but the museum is in the works of creating a "dream wall" for kids to think of their future aspirations, along with other possible ideas for a different exhibit.

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