About New KidsTown
One year ago this month, Orlando Science Center opened the doors to New KidsTown, a bright and colorful celebration of early learning and family engagement, and in doing so, filled a growing need in Central Florida for high quality, hands-on STEM experiences for children 7 and under. Positive response to New KidsTown has helped increase total attendance at the Science Center 10% over the prior year. Annual membership sales have also seen increases, thanks to the popularity of the new exhibit.
New KidsTown was the first major milestone of Unlock Science, the Science Center’s $30 million, multi-year capital campaign to renovate exhibits and expand resources. The exhibit was an innovative upgrade and complete reimagining of the original KidsTown, a family favorite that had opened with the museum’s current building in 1997.
“We saw the gap in high-quality learning spaces for our children. Every day we see families and teachers searching for educational opportunities,” Orlando Science Center CEO and President JoAnn Newman said on New KidsTown’s opening day in 2016. “This morning, that search is over as we unveil 11,000 square feet of new exhibits that promote vital skill development.”
In KidsTown, guests explore seven unique zones, where they are encouraged to learn through water play, climbing, taking oranges on the journey from tree to table and more. The zones are designed to help children develop 21st-century skills like collaboration, imagination, problem solving and creativity. KidsTown Studio has been an engaging and age-appropriate space for early childhood workshops led by Science Center educators. Whether accompanied by caregivers or dropped off for a more independent experience, children who participate in these workshops gain STEM knowledge and skills that prepare them for school and a lifelong interest in science.
These new experiences were made possible by many generous donors, including the following sponsors:
- Orange Grove Presented by: Dr. Phillips Charities
- Isaacs Family ClimbTime
- Drip Drop Splash Presented by: James M. Cox Foundation
- Toddler Town Presented by: Community Based Care of Central Florida
- Explore It Presented by: Publix Super Markets Charities
- KidsTown Studio Presented by: Florida Hospital for Children\
- Harriett’s KidsTown Theatre