Located in the historic Sprague Building, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma offers children the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive through playful exploration and discovery.
Two children at play in the water inside the Children's Museum exhibits. Photo courtesy of Lisa Monet Photography.
Founded in 1985, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma emerged from the efforts of local parents, teachers, and community leaders dedicated to creating playful learning experiences for families in Tacoma. Since then, the museum has offered exciting playscapes and engaging programming for children and their families to learn, grow, and thrive together.
In addition to the Museum on the first floor of the Sprague Building, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma also offers a preschool program during the academic year and a year-round child care facility, providing full-day care for 68 children.
In 2012, the museum moved to its current location in the historic Sprague Building. This expansion of facilities allowed the museum to increase the number of families served annually. When the museum opened in this location, it made a bold decision to reduce financial barriers to entry by shifting to a “Pay As You Will” admission model. It is still the only children’s museum in the nation that offers admission by donation.
The museum has also shown its affinity for play through its commitment to fun, engaging public art in and around the building. Public art pieces are dotted throughout the play spaces and outdoor yard. Visible from the Prairie Line Trail, the public art piece Ish, by artist Jennifer Wedderman, is a permanent large steel installation that adorns the museum’s south entrance. In the Museum’s Playground behind the building, you may also see two animal-themed public sculptures - Wildfire, by Frederick Prescott, and Daisy, created by Israeli artist David Gerstein.
To learn more, visit the Children's Museum of Tacoma website.