The New London Children's Museum
We’ve been on a big journey. One that took us to a place long ago, to the Arctic, through caves, into outer space, and back to the street where we live.
Through our discoveries, we’ve learned so much. About our world, and about ourselves. We’ve learned to use our imagination, and to dream big. To play, and to stay curious.
We’ve learned that when our community creates a safe place to play, we thrive. We learn to problem-solve, to think critically, to include others. To discover new interests in science, technology, art, history, culture, and nature.
And really, our journey is just getting started. Because we’re planning for our biggest adventure yet.
So we can continue to learn, play, and grow - together.
Our New Home at 100 Kellogg
It’s time for us to head for home. Our new home. At 100 Kellogg Lane.
The new London Children’s Museum will occupy 36,000 square feet on the fourth floor of London's historic Kellogg’s factory. It will be centrally located, easily accessible, and have an open concept layout with 21-foot ceilings, ample parking, and an outdoor rooftop space. It will provide more interactive play, innovative exhibits, and shared spaces where children and families can learn and grow.
The plan for this new home is the result of input from over 500 of us, our families, and community members over several years of consultations, workshops, surveys, and interviews. From the floor plan to the exhibit themes, it’s a museum designed for children, by children.
This space will allow children to roam more freely, have new experiences through interactive exhibits, and learn through play. With this new space, we can ensure all families can share in these important moments. Our new home will be a place where we celebrate childhood, where curiosity can grow into confidence, and where we can capture more memories with our families.
Help Bring Us Home
With a donation today, you’ll help us complete our journey. Funds raised go towards bringing this wondrous new place to life, including brand-new exhibits that encourage children’s healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. At our new home, the possibilities for play, learning, and development will be truly endless – but we need your help.
Let’s complete this journey the way we started it – together. It’s time to head home, and go play.
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- Why is the London Children's Museum moving?
After more than 40 years in the same space, and with over 3 million visitors, the beloved building on Wharncliffe Road has seen a lot of play.
The age, structure, and maintenance needs of the building have imposed limitations on new exhibits and programs. The current space inhibits our ability to create new, dynamic content that aligns with the needs and interests of today’s children and families.
While the essence of the London Children’s Museum will remain the same, our new home at 100 Kellogg is essential to meeting our growing attendance and demand. In the five years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, London Children’s Museum attendance grew 26%. With over 36,000 sq ft of open concept space, the new London Children’s Museum at 100 Kellogg will nearly double exhibit square footage.
- Why is the London Children’s Museum important?
Through hands-on learning experiences, the London Children's Museum:
- Encourages children’s healthy social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth
- Nurtures curiosity, creativity, experimentation, and innovation
- Promotes critical thinking and problem-solving
- Cultivates interest in science, technology, art, history, culture, and nature
- Offers a safe and welcoming environment for all children and families
- Encourages friends, families, and community members to learn alongside one another
- What exhibits will be featured in the new London Children's Museum?
The new London Children’s Museum will feature eight immersive and interactive galleries, including:
- Branching Out. A treehouse village in a forest full of dancing light and wildlife hideaways encourages visitors to climb, crawl, balance, and explore. Through multi-level treehouses and canopies, children discover big-body movement, natural exploration, and artifact surprises.
- Community Roots. This child-sized town allows visitors to take on roles of vital community members. Familiar community spaces such as a Neighbourhood Market, Restaurant, Rescue Headquarters, School, and Home present opportunities for imaginative and collaborative play.
- Discovery Lab. An interdisciplinary space designed for visitors to take part in STEAM-based creativity through tinkering, making, crafting, designing, experimenting, and hacking. Visitors engage in self-directed making, collaborative projects, and staff-facilitated workshops.
- Farm Works. A Farm and Factory tell the story of the region’s manufacturing, industrial, and agricultural history, helping visitors make connections about how food is produced, processed, and sold.
- STREAM. Taking inspiration from the Thames River (Antler River), STREAM is an exploration of water physics and life on the water. The river emerges from a rock bed high overhead, making its way down a waterfall, and over an aqueduct to fill a 21-meter-long water table.
- Above & Beyond. From Earth to outer space and back again, children let their curiosity soar to the outer reaches of the universe in this exhibit. Visitors investigate the principles of astronomy, become astronauts, and blast off to the International Space Station. A digital planetarium invites children to explore the galaxy, fostering curiosity about stars, planets, and constellations.
- Unearthed. Visitors explore the world of dinosaurs by uncovering bones, rocks, and minerals before taking objects into the field lab for further research and investigation. Children discover an immense cave system where they practice spelunking and discover cave ecosystems.
- The Annex. As a flexible, fresh, open space, The Annex functions as an event venue and home for temporary exhibits. The Annex acts as a community gathering spot where the culture, arts, and heritage of London and the surrounding area can be celebrated.
- When will the new London Children’s Museum open?
The London Children’s Museum is entering the third and final construction phase of the project, which includes the base build and exhibit fabrication and installation. This final phase is expected to be completed in Fall 2024.
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the project?
The new London Children's Museum project continued on track for the first year of the pandemic, with exhibit and architectural design completed remotely.
In March 2021, the project paused for approximately 18 months to allow time for supply chains and cost inflations to stabilize.
- Will the new space be accessible and inclusive?
In order to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, the new London Children’s Museum is designed thoughtfully and intentionally with input from hundreds of children, caregivers, and community members.
Every child deserves access to physically, culturally, and financially accessible learning opportunities. The new London Children’s Museum will be a welcoming family space that appeals to children of different ages, abilities, and interests. It features an accessible treehouse, dig pit, water table, and customizable lighting. New exhibits, programs, and special guests will celebrate diverse ways of knowing and being. A robust subsidy program will continue to ensure all families, regardless of socioeconomic status, have access to our services. We will continue to consult with families and community partners to ensure our services remain accessible, engaging, and relevant.
- Will you take anything with you?
The new London Children’s Museum will feature all-new, custom-built exhibits.
Exhibit design was informed by extensive community consultation and the input of over 500 children. As a result, many of the favourite exhibit themes, such as dinosaurs and outer space, remain the same. However, the new exhibits are more interactive, and innovative, and expand over twice the square footage. We will bring our collection of over 7,000 artifacts to the new space, including Baleena, the museum’s whale skeleton.
- How much will this project cost? What is your fundraising goal?
The new London Children’s Museum is a $22 million project.
To date, we have secured $16 million and have an additional $6 million to raise. The pandemic caused a significant increase to this budget due to the global increases in the cost of supplies and supply chain issues.
- Will there be any changes to the current operations at 21 Wharncliffe Rd S?
During exhibit fabrication and installation, the London Children’s Museum remains open for play at 21 Wharncliffe Rd S.
The community will be updated as the timeline for opening at 100 Kellogg and closing at 21 Wharncliffe Rd S becomes more established.
- What else is happening at 100 Kellogg?
Originally a factory for Kellogg Canada, this London landmark contains over one million square feet of space.
It is currently being transformed into an entertainment and cultural destination. 100 Kellogg will include office space, restaurants, and attractions. Plans for the outdoor courtyard include live music, social spaces, and seasonal markets. The London Children’s Museum is one of the tenants in the overall development. Current and future tenants include:
- The Factory
- Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
- The Club House
- Paradigm Spirits
- Powerhouse Brewery
- Hard Rock Hotel London, Ontario (Coming Soon)
- How can I donate to the new London Children’s Museum?
Donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations are crucial to ensuring the London Children's Museum continues to provide a safe, engaging, and educational environment for children to learn.
Ways to Give:
- Online at londonchildrensmuseum.ca/donate. Select "New Children's Museum" in the drop-down menu.
- Cheques, made payable to the London Regional Children's Museum, can be mailed to: London Children's Museum, 21 Wharncliffe Rd S, London ON, N6J 4G5
- To explore other gift options, including exhibit naming opportunities, contact Christine Walker, Director of Development, christine [at] londonchildrensmuseum.ca, or 519.434.5726 ext. 227
Every donation helps ensure the London Children's Museum continues to inspire creativity and curiosity for years to come.
This project is funded in part by the City of London, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada Museums Assistance Program, Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and Canadian Space Agency.