The Kearney Area Children’s Museum inspires play, exploration, and discovery through interactive experiences.
To engage children and families in innovative exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
We are proud to offer more than twenty interactive exhibits that cover a wide variety of interests that include an art studio, science center, train depot, grocery store, fire station, and agriculture area. Guests have the opportunity to explore at their own pace, and are invited to touch, push, pull, build, and play with every exhibit.
The Kearney Area Children’s Museum won the Best of Kearney Award in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, the Breastfeeding Friendly Business Award from the Kearney Community Breastfeeding Initiative in 2018, the Taking Flight Award from Crane River Theater in 2017, and the Doing Business Award from the Kearney Chamber Colonels, and the Taking Flight Award from Crane River Theater in 2017.
The Kearney Area Children’s Museum is a member of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and has active partnerships with several community organizations including Head Start, Kearney Community Learning Center (KCLC), The ARC of Buffalo County, the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails & Rails Museum, the Frank House at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and more.
The Kearney Area Children’s Museum is a member of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), an international professional organization that was founded to expand the capacity and further the vision of children’s museums, and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), an organization bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. KACM is also actively using the Guidelines and Principles from the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and is a Best Practice Partner with that program.
As a non-profit organization, we rely on community support, donations, and volunteers help us to operate. The museum is very grateful to everyone who contributes to its success.
We have a generous group of business and individual supporters.
The Kearney Area Children’s Museum was incorporated as a Section 501 (c)(3) organization in 1989. For 30 years, the children’s museum has served our community by providing quality experiences that include educational exhibits, special events, and community activities, to bring families together, embrace our community, and encourage children to play, learn and grow.
The museum was established as a volunteer organization, and has operated since its inception through these efforts. Volunteers are critical to the success of the children’s museum, as they enrich the museum’s resources and advance the museum’s mission to serve Central Nebraska.
Initially, the museum sponsored a variety of events throughout the Kearney community. After two years of operation, we purchased the building at 2013 Avenue A from the Small Business Administration and opened what was then the only hands-on museum between Lincoln and Denver. For 13 years, the museum provided high quality, participatory experiences for children and their families. In April 2003, however, the children’s museum was closed due to structural concerns. Board members were saddened by the closing of the original museum; however, they viewed it as an opportunity to reinvent and restructure the museum into an outstanding resource for Kearney and the surrounding communities.
In 2005, the Board purchased a building on 1st Avenue in Kearney to create a new children’s museum. This museum provided learning opportunities and hands-on educational services to more than 37,000 individuals in just three years. Following a multi-year capital campaign, and generous support of the Kearney area community, the Museum would ultimately find a permanent home in the Alia Arram Memorial Building in 2010, which was made possible thanks to the donation of land at 5827 4th Avenue, by Kearney businessman Essam Arram and his wife Barbara.
Alia Joy Arram was a joyful and enthusiastic young woman, who loved her family, spending time with friends, and enjoyed being around children. Alia was only 16 years old when she was tragically killed in an automobile accident on June 24, 1997. Alia Joy Arram was the daughter of Essam and Barbara Arram. The Alia Arram Memorial Building was established in 2010 in honor of her life.