CMoW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
To provide a welcoming and engaging environment that promotes hands-on art, science, and literacy-focused learning for children and families.
Promoting Family Learning
We engage children and their families in joyful learning experiences using the power of play. We provide a safe, clean, and inviting environment where children find ample opportunity to explore. We offer hands-on interactive exhibits and weekly programs.
Providing Value to Our Community
We aspire to be a catalyst for neighborhood and community engagement. We seek and collaborate with other local institutions and organizations to create dynamic partnerships that leverage the positive impact of our museum.
Playing with Purpose
We introduce children to an appreciation for our world. We support the development of essential foundational skills in children. We help create the spark that ignites a lifelong love of learning.
Beginning in 1991, a task force of local parents began pursuing the idea of a "hands-on" learning through play center. The Junior League of Wilmington, NC became involved and assisted in the further development of the idea.
Open to the Public
After several years of research and study by parents, community leaders and educators, The Wilmington Children's Museum opened its doors on October 10, 1997.
A New Home
With a growing community and a copious amount of children ready to play to learn, it soon became apparent that the current site could not accommodate the increased number of guests. The Museum was expanding. More programs were
being introduced and new exhibits were being made. The love for the Museum was already growing and so was its size. It became time for more space!
Historic Downtown Wilmington
To meet the steadily growing number of visitors, in 2004 the Museum purchased the three buildings that comprised the former St. John's Museum of Art as the new site for The Children's Museum of Wilmington (CMoW). The St. John's Masonic Lodge, Greek Orthodox Church, and The Cowan House are dear pieces of Downtown Wilmington's history. They are preserved today as CMoW's new home.