| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Development News

Something new for Bucks County kids to do with opening of new museum in New Hope

Childhood experiences can have a lasting impact

The Bucks County Children’s Museum opens a new world of whimsy for kids in New Hope this week. The museum was created to give children ages 8 and under an interactive space to explore the culture and history of Bucks County. It is the first youth-themed museum in Bucks County, and one of few in the Philadelphia-area. The opening marks a re-birth for the space that used to house the New Hope branch of the James A. Michener Art Museum.

The museum has a motley assortment of interactive exhibits, all intended to teach young children about Bucks County. One such exhibit is a “replica of a vintage Bucks County train,” where young kids can pretend to “serve (food) in the gallery kitchen,” exclaims Mandee Kuenzle, communications director at the museum. Sticking with transportation, the museum also allows visitors to walk through a 12-foot long replica of a Bucks County covered bridge. Kids can also take advantage of a locally themed archeological dig space, a tree house with science lessons, and a spot to build and race K’nex cars.

Kuenzle vows that local teachers had a sizable role in the creation of each exhibit. Earlier this year, a group of 20 Bucks County teachers took their own field trip to the museum to create curriculum germane to young children. These educators represented some of the biggest school districts in the county, including Central Bucks, Council Rock, New Hope-Solebury, and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Kuenzle is quick to add that the assistant superintendent for elementary education at the populous Central Bucks School District serves on the museum’s Board of Directors.

Children should now have more of a place to call home in artsy New Hope, thanks to the museum. Kuenzle cited New Hope’s vibrant arts and culture scene as one reason why the museum decided to hold class in the borough. Kuenzle also expressed a desire to tap into New Hope’s tourist culture, making it clear that her exhibits aren’t merely open for local youth. Other children’s themed activities in and near New Hope, such as the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad and Peddler’s Village should also jive well. New Hope is an interesting location, as it is not centrally located in the county, and is actually closer to parts of New Jersey than some corners of Bucks. 

It is remarkable that the children’s museum is able to open such a comprehensive set of displays in the middle of a recession. Both private citizens and corporate sponsors played a big role in financing. The automotive giant Subaru and Teva Pharmaceuticals both sponsored, while the Bucks/Montgomery Counties chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry donated a whole exhibit. Finally, K’nex gave a large donation towards their exhibit.  

Source: Mandee Kuenzle
Writer: Andy Sharpe
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts