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How Your Kids Can Help Test New Exhibits At The Children's Museum

Groundbreaking on the new San Antonio Children’s Museum on Broadway gets underway in June, but leaders at the current facility downtown haven’t stopped adding new exhibits.

Three of them are now available: an imagination playground for building towns or vehicles, an improved bubble ranch, and a creative arts studio for children who want to paint the walls.

"I think it's good, especially for my older daughter when she comes because it's a little more interesting that it changes a lot," said Heather Lunsford. "The little one, it's not quite as big of an issue because it's still exciting, but my older daughter likes when they change things."

The 65,000 square feet of space at the new location will be filled with new exhibits, which is 15,000 more square feet than what Executive Director Vanessa Lacoss Hurd currently has room for.

"Since we've grown by 49 percent in the last four years, it really signals a strong demand for new and different things in the museum,” she said.

For that reason, children will be invited to the museum for a prototype testing that will give a New York design team ideas on what does the best job of challenging kids.

"We know what we want to accomplish with all of these new exhibits," said Hurd. "We want to make sure that what we want to accomplish will actually work. And these prototypes and these activities are really a great opportunity to do that."

The first prototype testing will take place Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. Admission for children and their parents will be free, and the event coincides with the city’s free downtown Tuesday parking program.

A math activity for a spy academy will be one of the first prototypes to be tested. Hurd said the expansion of the current museum keeps exhibits fresh as a way to thank members and supporters. The prototype testing, she said, will help raise the bar for the new and improved children’s museum, set to open in 2015.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.