Rendering of future KidsQuest Museum in Downtown Bellevue, courtesy KidsQuest Museum.

Rendering of future KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Downtown Bellevue, courtesy KidsQuest Museum.

KidsQuest Children’s Museum has set an opening date of January 12, 2017 for its new downtown Bellevue location. November 27, 2016 will be the museum’s last day in its Factoria space, where it has served over a million kids since 2005. Its new location, the former Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, will be a bigger and better permanent home for the nonprofit. It will include outdoor space for kids to explore, additional classrooms, and multi-sensory, hands-on exhibits.

According to Director of Advancement Shelley Saunders the museum has raised $10 million of its $12.7 million goal from the State of Washington, King County, The City of Bellevue, corporations, foundations, and individuals. The final push to get additional donors is underway.  In-museum donor recognition opportunities are available for donations of $500 or higher. Sponsored chairs and benches ($15,000), stair risers ($2,500), and small and large bricks ($500-$1,000) are all up for grabs.

For five years the museum had a rent‐free lease in Factoria. It’s since been converted into a short‐term and market-rate lease the museum can’t control or afford over the long term. KidsQuest was in need of new home and the heart of downtown Bellevue, nearby the Bellevue Regional Library and local parks seemed like a perfect fit.

Museum organizers also feel it’s a critical time to open a larger kid’s center for the community. According to KidsQuest, “less than 50 percent of kids in Washington State beginning kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful.” At KidsQuest, activities and exhibits are deigned to build learning skills and confidence.

Find out more information about the new center and its campaign here.