The Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) was born in 1994 from the urgent need to improve the health, literacy and well-being of Mississippi’s children. Recognizing a vital need for innovative, creative and engaging educational resources for Mississippi children and their families, and inspired by the success of children’s museums across the country, a visionary group of community volunteers began the extensive process that led to MCM.
In 2003, this group brought the Mississippi Children’s Museum to the Junior League of Jackson when it became the League’s second signature project. The Junior League undertook a $26.6 million capital campaign and led a statewide team of educational partners, community and business leaders, elected officials, parents, volunteers, children and nationally recognized children’s museum experts to plan, develop and build a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, statewide children’s museum.
Opened in December 2010, this 40,000 square foot museum houses five galleries of educational, interactive exhibits and enriching weekly programs that focus on literacy; health and nutrition; the cultural arts; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and Mississippi heritage. In 2014, MCM opened a sixth, outdoor, 13,000 square foot gallery, the Literacy Garden, which combines experiential artworks with unique landscape architecture that encourages early language and reading skills development.
MCM has consistently been recognized for excellence by the Association of Children’s Museums, Trip Advisor, Parents & Kids Magazine, and Mississippi Magazine. Named a KidsCount Program of Promise which recognizes organizations that improve the well-being of children and families, MCM was awarded Mississippi Tourism Association’s Attraction of the Year in 2011 and, in 2014, given a four out of four star rating by Charity Navigator. MCM averages 225,000 visitors annually with visitation from all 82 counties in Mississippi, all 50 U.S. states and several foreign countries.
In 2014, a group of community activists in Meridian, Mississippi, seeing the success and benefits that MCM has had throughout our state and specifically in the greater Jackson community, advocated for the expertise of the museum to serve the children of East Mississippi and West Alabama. After years of research and development, the Mississippi Children’s Museum officially broke ground on their first satellite campus, Mississippi Children’s Museum-Meridian, in October 2019. MCM-Meridian anticipates opening its doors in early 2021. To learn more about the MCM-Meridian project, click here.