‘Cornerstone of our community.’ Lexington Children’s Museum unveils new changes

The Lexington Children’s Museum is going back to its roots.

The Lexington Children’s Museum, previously known as the Explorium of Lexington, unveiled a new rebranding project at its museum Friday morning. The museum will have a new logo and return to its original name from when it opened in 1990.

Students from the Early Jessamine Learning Village helped unveil the rebrand during a special announcement while visiting the museum for a field trip.

“We know that it’s going to provide a great starting point for a very exciting future for us,” said Colby Ernest, executive director with the museum. “What this brand represents is — it represents the hard work we’ve put in this organization the last two years, and any family that has been here over the past two years notices those changes.”

Two years ago the museum sent out a survey to the community to gauge their desires for the museum. Ernest said they valued the community’s opinion and the survey results made it clear a great children’s museum was wanted.

“They knew the impact it could make not just for this city, but across the state,” Ernest said. “Ever since then they have worked every day to make that happen for them.”

Mayor Linda Gorton, who was in attendance for the special announcement, said the museum has hosted visitors from 47 states and 110 counties in Kentucky. She toured the museum before the announcement and said it was a warm and friendly place for children and families.

“The museum has been a cornerstone of our community,” Gorton said.

A lot of progress has been made since the museum received the results from the survey. Ernest said one of the areas they’ve focused on is improving the experience for guests.

“We’ve had dedication not just into the quality but we’ve increased our staffing and we have dedicated ourselves to providing the best patron experience possible,” Ernest said.

Last May, the museum opened a new gallery for the first time in 10 years with the help of the Marksbury Family Foundation. The exhibit lets children test their creative minds by creating paper airplanes and testing their flight capabilities at a launchpad. Hula hoops hang from the ceiling acting as targets for the kids to aim their planes at.

A new exhibit at the Lexington Children’s Museum allows kids to build paper airplanes and launch them from a launchpad. Chris Leach/cleach@herald-leader.com
A new exhibit at the Lexington Children’s Museum allows kids to build paper airplanes and launch them from a launchpad. Chris Leach/cleach@herald-leader.com

The museum also features new programming, including a monthly sensory program. The program allows children with sensory sensitivities to visit the museum for free during two hours on specific days of the month.

The museum will host The next sensory hours are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21. People must register beforehand and tickets are limited to immediate family members.

The museum has also partnered with Museums for All, a national, branded access program that helps families on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to gain free or reduced admission to museums. The museum is one of four participating partners with Museums for All in Lexington.

Ernest said they had over 200 people visit the museum during spring break through the partnership.

“We knew that we were never going to achieve our goals and our objectives without removing barriers of access to the space and the programs that we offer,” Ernest said.

The announcement means more than just a new name and logo, he said.

“We are working in this place to make sure that our community is proud of what we do,” Ernest said. “This is only the beginning. We have a great new logo, reclaiming our name, but this is the start of a really exciting future for our organization.”