NEW Play Space

Explore our new Play Space!

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CMEC's Capital Campaign


  1. Check out answers to our most frequently asked questions. Don't see your question listed below? Give us a call at 715-832-5437 or send us an e-mail at 

  1. Q. Can I bring my coffee / lunch / snacks into the Museum?

  2. A. While we certainly understand the need for snacks, we kindly ask that you do NOT bring food onto the exhibit floor. This helps keep the Children's Museum in great shape for future visitors. You are allowed to bring coffee/water bottles into the museum, but please drink carefully! If you want to eat lunch during your visit, you are welcome to bring in a cooler and use our Family Lunch Space located on the top level of the Museum. However, we do NOT permit peanut butter or other nut products out of consideration for our guests with severe allergies.

  1. Q. Can I drop my kids off at the Museum?

  2. A. Nope. The rule at the Children's Museum has always been that every kid must have a grown-up (16+), and every grown-up must have a kid! Although our staff does an amazing job of maintaining a safe, fun enviroment, we are not a childcare facility and are not staffed adequately to supervise your child while they play in the Museum. As an added note, we LOVE places like the YMCA that allow for kid drop-off. We know it helps mom and dad out! However, we serve as a unique community location where kids and their grown-ups can play, grow and learn together. And parent-child connectedness is one of the greatest contributors to a happy, healthy kiddo. 

  1. Q. What activities and programs are available during our visit?

  2. A. Our program offerings change every week, and there's almost always something happening at the Museum. Visit our handy online Calendar to find out what's happening during your visit! Most programs are free and included with admission or membership.

  1. Q. Do you have wifi available in the Museum?

  2. A. Nope! We're all about screen-free play, for kiddos and grown-ups! If you can, try to put your phone away and enjoy some unplugged play with your kids. Or pretend it's 1999 and talk to some of the other grown-ups! 

  1. Q. Do we have to wear socks in the Museum?

  2. A. Yes, but only if they're paired with shoes! For the safety of our guests, we ask that all visitors keep their shoes ON while playing in the Museum.

  1. Q. Do you have a cafe or restaurant in the Museum?

  2. A. Although we don't have our own eatery, downtown Eau Claire is home to some great restaurants. We'd love for you to check out some of our neighbors! Most of them are within walking distance of the Children's Museum. Grab pizza at The Plus, enjoy sushi at Ninja, or bite into a hoagie at the Acoustic Cafe! If you'd prefer to pack a lunch, you're welcome to use our Family Lunch Spaces on the top level of the Museum (no peanut butter or nut products, please). And remember that your Daily Admission Pass is good all day. If you need to leave for lunch or a nap, just hang onto your receipt and come back later in the afternoon!

  1. Q. How much does it cost to get into the Museum?

  2. A. A Daily Admission Pass is $8.00 per person, ages 1-100. Infants under 1 are admitted free!

  1. Q. Do you have discounts available?

  2. A. Through the Play-for-All program, we offer a discounted membership for families in financial need, families of kids with special needs as well as military families. Click here to see if you're eligible for a Play-for-All membership.

  3.          B. We offer a FREE one-year membership for First Time Parents whose little ones are 18 months or younger and have no other children. 
  1. Q. Are kids really learning anything at the Children's Museum? Sometimes it seems like all they do is play!

    1. A. Believe it or not, there's no end to what a child can learn at the Children's Museum. Our exhibits cover topics ranging from nanoscience and nature to building and business ownership. That said, the most important type of learning that happens here might not always look like school--very often it looks like play!

      According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, unstructured, child-driven play and exploration is crucial to healthy development. Playing helps children learn to solve their own problems, handle emotions like anger and fear, socialize with others, grow a love for learning and develop executive function--the very important ability to work independently at setting goals and figuring out how to reach them. However, because play disguises all of this development as "fun," kids don't even realize they're learning stuff!

      Unfortunately, kids today spend 8 hours less each week playing than their counterparts did two decades ago. Not only does this loss of imaginative play mean kids are less creative and independent, but it also puts them at greater risk for anxiety, depression, self-control and problems paying attention. In other words, although it may look like kids are "just playing," under the surface they're hard at, becoming happy, healthy adults. Or as we like to say, play is very serious business!

      To learn more about the power of play for your child, click here!

Q. Why do adults have to pay to get into the Children's Museum?

A. Great question! Adults often ask us why they are charged admission, especially when the kids are doing most of the playing. We have a few helpful answers for that: 

1) Although we understand that grown-ups sometimes need a break from the often exhausting task of caring for kids, a Children's Museum is not a childcare facility. We exist as a community advocate for caregiver-child interaction. After all, as an adult you are your child's first play partner. Your involvement helps to scaffold your child's ability to play in ways that are more sustained and sophisticated thorugh your comments, questions and prompting. While kids are often perfectly content playing on their own or with peers, they also need time to bond with their parents or caregivers. This is a critical building block necessary for child-development. 

2) Research shows us that adults who spend time playing tend to be more creative, less stressed and better at solving problems!

3) Charging a fee for adults helps us keep admission costs lower across the board.

4) We're also big fans of saving you money through membership! Starting at just $99 a year, two adults and all kids under 18 living in the same household can get FREE, unlimited admission to the Museum for the entire year. Click here to learn more.

  1. Q. I have a question but don't see an answer here.

  2. A. Give us a call at 715-832-5437 or send us an e-mail at! 

the power of play cmec provides a wealth of opportunities for learning through play
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