The Children's Museum of Memphis

We create memorable learning experiences through the joy of play in hands-on exhibits and programs.


Our Mission

The Children’s Museum of Memphis creates memorable learning experiences through the joy of play in hands-on exhibits and programs.

Incorporated in 1987, the museum is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization focusing on children’s development through exhibits and programs designed to support early learning.

Our Core Values

  • The intersection of play and hands-on learning
  • A positive impact on the community
  • A positive family experience
  • A complement to classroom education
  • Inclusiveness
  • Excellent customer service
  • Nurturing appropriate partnerships in the community
  • Following the best practices of the children’s museums field

The Children’s Museum of Memphis Founders

Mars Child (Widdicombe)
Polly Glotzbach
Harriet McFadden
Jack Jones (Museum Incorporation)
Harry J. Phillips, Sr.

Thanks to the vision and support of The City of Memphis – Richard C. Hackett, Mayor


  • 1985 Children’s Museum Planning Group formed
  • 1987 The Children’s Museum of Memphis incorporated as a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 educational corporation
  • 1988 The museum signs a $1 lease with the City of Memphis for the National Guard Armory complex
  • 1990 After raising $3 million for construction, opened to the public on June 16
  • 2001 Finished a $6 million capital campaign (raised $7.2 million) to expand the museum by 16,000 square feet. Groundbreaking ceremony and construction began on March 23.
  • 2002 Museum expansion completed and opened on August 3
  • 2013 “H2Oh! Splash” park opened
  • 2014 “Outdoor PlaySpace” opened
  • 2015 Museum agrees to restore the 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel
  • 2017 The Carousel Pavilion at The Children’s Museum of Memphis opens its doors

History buffs, read the story of how the Children’s Museum of Memphis got its start in the National Guard Armory. Then, dig deeper into the story and timeline of the Grand Carousel.

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