frequently asked questions
WHAT AGE RANGE IS APPROPRIATE?
The Children’s Museum of La Crosse is for the young and young at heart, but targeted to children from birth to age 10 and their adult caregivers. Wiggles & Giggles, on the Museum’s 2nd floor, is limited to children younger than age 4 with their adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult (age 16+) and all adults must be accompanied by a child.
WHY DO ADULTS HAVE TO PLAY IF WE DON'T PLAY?
Just like when you take a child to a movie that may not be on your list of "must-sees", you are charged for a ticket...and you probably end up enjoying it as much as the kids. We hope you will play when you visit the Children's Museum of La Crosse: enjoyable experiences shared between children and caring adults become treasured memories! All ages benefit from laughing and learning, giggling and growing, playing and pretending.
Every person who enters the Children's Museum adds to the building capacity limitations; has access to our restrooms and drinking fountains; and benefits from heating, cooling, insurance, staffing, cleaning and other things that are part of our annual operational costs. The fees we charge for admission, membership, special programs, gift shop sales, etc. meet approximately 75% of our annual operating budget. The remaining 25% is funded by donations, grants and event sponsorships from generous individuals and organizations. If we had to earn our entire operating budget, we would have to charge a higher admission fee. We strive to be as affordable and accessible as possible, with fees, staffing and other operating costs lower than many other family attractions in our region. Annual memberships offer a very cost-effective way to be able to visit the Museum many times over a year.
WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF A MUSEUM MEMBERSHIP?
Museum Members can visit as many times as they want for a full year from date of purchase! Members also receive discounts in the gift shop, on parties and programs and invitations to special members-only events. Member’s guests receive $1 off admission too. A membership for a special child or family is a gift that keeps giving…fun all year long! Reduced cost memberships are also available for economically disadvantaged families. Learn more about memberships here.
WHERE DOES THE MUSEUM GET ITS FINANCIAL SUPPORT?
The Children’s Museum of La Crosse is an independent, nonprofit organization. Approximately 70% of the Museum’s annual operating budget is earned through admissions, memberships, parties, gift shop sales and program fees, and the remaining 30% is contributed by corporations, foundations and individuals. The Children’s Museum of La Crosse receives no Government or United Way funding. Learn more here.
IS THE MUSEUM HANDICAP AND SPECIAL NEEDS ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, all doorways, elevator, restrooms and almost all exhibits are handicap accessible at the Museum.
Would your child benefit from a structured Museum visit? Adventure Backpacks, which include exhibit choice cards, ear mufflers, manipulatives and other adaptive items, are available at our admissions desk for use during your Museum visit (check out with driver’s license/photoID). Adventure Backpacks are sponsored by The Chileda Institute and the La Crosse Autism Foundation to assist autistic children make the most of their Museum visits, but they may be used by anyone looking for more structure while they learn and play.
HOW LONG DOES A VISIT TAKE?
There is no exact answer to this question. It all depends on your child’s age and interests. The average visit is about 2 hours.
CAN I DROP MY CHILD OFF AT THE MUSEUM?
All children must be accompanied by a responsible and attentive adult (age 16+) ready for imaginative fun at all times and in all locations of the museum. Any child under 16 on their own will retained at the admissions desk until a parent or caretaker is located. The Museum does occasionally offer kid-only programs: “Night (out) at the Museum” on some Friday evenings and summer day camps. Check the event calendar.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR ON A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM?
We’re action-packed, so dress comfortably. Children should wear shoes in the Museum.
CAN WE BRING OUTSIDE FOOD INTO THE MUSEUM? IS FOOD AVAILABLE?
Due to potential allergies and mess, we do not allow food, gum, coffee or other beverages in the museum. We have water fountains by each restroom. Your admission is good for the day, so ask to have your hands stamped if you would like to leave for lunch and return the same day. There are a lot of great, kid-friendly restaurants right downtown, just ask our desk staff for recommendations!
ARE STROLLERS ALLOWED? DO YOU HAVE ANY AVAILABLE FOR USE BY VISITORS?
You are welcome to bring your stroller in the Museum. Please be conscious of walkways, exhibit play areas and other guests as you move and park your stroller. There are two small strollers available for use by guests. Please pick up from and return to coat room near admissions desk.
WHERE CAN WE PUT OUR COATS, DIAPER BAGS AND OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS?
You may put your coats, etc. in the coat room near the admission desk. We do not recommend leaving purses, cell phones or other valuables unattended. The Children’s Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
DO YOU HAVE A NURSING AREA FOR NEW MOTHERS?
You are welcome to nurse anywhere in the Museum. For more privacy, you may choose to nurse in the library or family restroom on the 2nd floor.
HOW DO WE FIND OUT WHAT SPECIAL EVENTS ARE COMING UP AT THE CHILDREN’ S MUSEUM?
Keep up to date on all of the latest Museum news and events at www.facebook.com/funmuseum and/or click here to sign up for monthly e-news
DO YOU ALLOW TAKING PHOTOS IN THE MUSEUM?
You are welcome to record special memories of your family/group with photographs. Please do not photograph other guests without their consent. If you are willing to share your photos with us for possible inclusion in our promotional efforts, please share them by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or posting on social media with #funmuseum tag.
WHERE SHOULD WE PARK?
Use free, 2-hour street parking or park in any unreserved space in the Market Square Parking Ramp on Jay Street, between 4th & 5th Streets for free parking up to 3 hours between 8 am and 6 pm Monday - Friday ($1 for each additional hour up). Enter your license plate number and expected amount of time when you park at the pay station on the main level. Ramp parking is free for any amount of time on nights and weekends.
Do NOT park in the private King on 5th or Cathedral parking lots behind the Museum.