Staten Island Children's Museum

New York City, United States

Staten Island Children's Museum

The Staten Island Children's Museum is a children's museum on the grounds of Sailors' Snug Harbor on Staten Island, New York. The museum opened in 1976 following community and government support for the project. The museum stresses a hands-on interactive approach to its exhibits. A large metal sculpture of a praying mantis, named Francis the Praying Mantis, is located in front of the museum.

Founded by a group of parents in 1974, the Staten Island Children's Museum opened in 1976 in a small rented storefront with one exhibit and program. A series of “hands-on, minds-on” exhibitions followed about history, the natural science and fine arts. By 1980, space limitations drove the museum to seek larger quarters. The City of New York invited the Children's Museum to join the Cultural Institutions Group, which included plans for the Museum to relocate to the ground so the newly acquired 83-acre Snug Harbor. Planning, funding and renovations for the new home at Snug Harbor Cultural Center took six years to complete and in 1986, the museum opened the doors to its new home. In 2003, the facility expanded to 40,000 square feet with the addition of the historic barn and the bi-level glass passageway. In 2013, the Museum completed another capital project, with the addition of a state-of-the-art tented picnic and performance pavilion on the East Meadow, and a vertical axis wind turbine and wind scoop addition to its roof.

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