LEXINGTON — After nearly a decade, the Dawson County Children’s Museum now has a location to call its own. The organization held an open house on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the building at 800 N. Washington St.

Dawson County Children’s Museum board president Pat Longly said in May the location on Washington St. was, “the right size, affordable and felt like the right fit.”

Longly started the Children’s Musuem organization back in 2011 after she retired from teaching, but the group has never had a building to call their own.

Until now the Children’s Museum has been operating out of the Lexington Public Library, hosting events on the second Saturday of each month, Longly said.

“This has been our goal for eight years,” she said about the center’s opening.

“We are glad we can offer a fun, safe and educational environment for the children and their families,” Longly said on Thursday as she viewed the packed space, “We are thrilled they are here and everyone is enjoying it.”

The new space will allow the museum to create learning centers focused on specific subjects as well as space for social functions such as birthday parties. Several different stations feature areas like STEM subjects, the outdoors, art, science etc. The center also features places for children to play including a slide, dress up area, among others.

Longly said during the open house she and the all-volunteer staff were watching which stations were popular and which they could switch out. The center plans to rotate stations so children have something new to see.

Longly said the starting hours for the museum will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

When the doors do open the museum will be asking an admission fee, the amount which is still being decided upon. Longly hopes this will not deter families but wants to let them know this money would go to making the museum economically sound and to help all the volunteers to continue to provide this service to the community.

The Children’s Museum is helped in their mission by financial and volunteer support from the community, Longly said. If anyone is interested in donating or volunteering, contact Pat Longly at 308-325-6164.

The mission of the Dawson County Children’s Museum, according to their website,” is to offer children and adults the opportunity to explore areas of science, math, social studies and fine arts through free play, exploration and demonstration.”

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