A new Children's Museum Tucson - Tucson News Now

Changes paying off for Children's Museum

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Children's Museum Tucson is seeing more kids and parents coming in and learning about science, hands-on.  They say it's all about growing community partnerships.

The number of visitors is up 18 percent this year, museum officials say there are two reasons, what's inside and what's outside. 

This past year the museum has invested more than $500,000 in upgrading and updating everything inside.  Officials describe the difference as night and day.

There are more interactive exhibits, like Bodyology and Investigation Station, for the kids to touch and understand. And the other factor is what's outside, community partnerships.  The museum has been working with TEP, Cox Communications and a restaurant just down the street, Downtown Kitchen.

Earlier this year they built a garden in front of the museum, growing cilantro, dill, basil, carrots, beets and kale just to name a few. 

The food is harvested and used in meals at the Downtown Kitchen.  But before the produce goes to the restaurant it is another interactive experience. 

"So often kids will only see food in packages, cans or at McDonalds.  So to get these kids to really relate to food that grows and what it is and get them to taste it," said Janos Wilder, the owner of the Downtown Kitchen.  

This food goes to one of the menu items, and each time one is ordered, a dollar is donated to the museum.  It's raised about $1,000 so far, but the real value is in the partnership.

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