The museum is open Friday through Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Children’s Museum has been providing children with educational fun for over a decade. Located in the prior Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse, their mission is to “engage children in a joyful learn-through-play environment and inspire educational curiosity while honoring the heritage of our volunteer firefighters.”
Like so many others, the museum greatly suffered during the COVID shutdowns. As a result, the museum closed its doors in March 2020 and officially reopened on Jun. 18 of this year.
Board member Joanna Maxted explained, “The Children’s Museum was also really impacted by COVID—that was a huge loss to the museum. Basically no revenue that whole time.”
Due to COVID restrictions, the museum was unable to hold their annual fundraiser in 2020 and 2021, Ciopinno and Vino, which is their largest form of revenue. Local chefs compete for the best cioppino, a stew of fish, shellfish, tomatoes, and seasonings, all while helping fund the museum’s daily operation costs.
But now, the museum is open and ready for children to safely play and learn. “We want to make sure people know that we are out there and they can come use the museum safely,” Maxted said.
During their closure, staff of the museum took time to deep clean and make updates within the building. New wash and hand sanitizer stations have been added.
The museum offers educational activities focused on families for the general public, as well as school and youth group programming. With two stories full of exhibits, some changing every few months, there is something to unlock imagination and learning in every child.
Just a few of the exhibits found in the museum include the Oak Tree, Fire Station, Market Area, Toddler Farm, Grape Stomp, and Karina’s Creative Corner.
The museum began when Tom Martin had a dream to create a place where children could learn through play in a safe and interactive environment. With the help of the many civic leaders, the community, and countless volunteers, Martin’s vision came to life in 2003 when The Children’s Museum at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse was established as a public charity. They were open to the public by November 2007.
In 2018, the museum welcomed over 22,000 visitors and became 100 percent solar-powered.
The museum also provides free access to hundreds of children each year through the Community Partner Program. This program supports other nonprofits that serve children in San Luis Obispo County.
Families are welcome to come to the museum for the day or sign up for a yearly membership. They are even available for birthday parties.
For more information on the museum, visit pasokids.org/index.php.
Paso Robles Children’s Museum
623 13th Street, Paso Robles
Friday through Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.