The mission of ECM is to stimulate curiosity and cultivate learning at the age of wonder.
On a vacation to Gulfport, Mississippi in 1997, Carla Johnson and her family went to a newly opened children’s museum. Her visit inspired her to open a similar family-friendly attraction in the St. Louis Metro East. After consulting with local leaders, the first Edwardsville Children’s Museum Board of Directors meeting took place in 1999. Four years of exhibit planning, location scouting, grant writing, and fundraising culminated in the grand opening of the Edwardsville Children’s Museum on February 1, 2003.
After a decade of educating thousands of local children from across the St. Louis region, the Museum was on the brink of closing our doors. When faced with the possibility of losing the only children’s museum in the Metro East, the community united to raise more than $100,000 in nine months to keep ECM up and running. During the pandemic, instead of abandoning us, Edwardsville residents and businesses worked together to help us renovate our facility and introduce new exhibits so we were ready to thrill our young visitors when allowed to safely reopen. We also expanded our impact on Edwardsville with the new Nickel Plate Station exhibit area and our Micro Forest, the first eco-project of its kind in the area.
The overwhelming support we have received further reinforces our goal of At The Edwardsville Children’s Museum serving the needs and interests of children by providing exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning. Today, ECM is bigger than ever before with interactive, immersive exhibits that educate and inspire visitors from across Metro St. Louis and Southern Illinois. In addition, we offer programming for newborns through 12 years of age, including baby sign language, preschool playgroups, storytime, summer camps, Boy Scout and Girl Scout workshops, birthday parties, and much, much more!
We are always updating our exhibits and programming, be sure to stop by and see what’s new!