Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Fennville children’s museum to close doors

After navigating through the pandemic and trying to offset expenses with a second location in tourist-heavy South Haven, a small nonprofit children’s museum in downtown Fennville will be shuttering its doors at the end of the year. Forever Curious Children’s Museum will be merging many of its much-loved exhibits and activities in a new, yet-to-be-determined location with its sister site, the Michigan-themed Mitten Children’s Museum.
“We have absolutely loved the many years we have spent in Fennville providing a warm, safe space for hands-on educational fun for thousands of families in Allegan County and beyond,” Executive Director Wendi Onuki said. “So many happy memories have been made and milestones achieved within our walls. It is our plan to continue serving the community in a way that will allow us to grow and expand our impact. It is an exciting but bittersweet new chapter.”
Forever Curious first opened in 2005 under the creative vision of founder Mary Cone Kasprzyk, serving as an educational, cultural institution that promotes learning through play. The museum, located at 202 East Main Street, has welcomed more than 2,700 visitors through its doors so far this year. Exhibits include a nature corner, an authentic wigwam, rock climbing wall, bubble table, play vet clinic, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) section, sensory space and more.
The Mitten Children’s Museum opened in April in a temporary location – a historic former home at 246 Broadway Street – in downtown South Haven with plans to move into a fully accessible, inclusive space in the next two to three years. The board of directors will be searching in the coming months for a large, barrier-free facility in the Greater South Haven area that can accommodate the diverse exhibits, programming, special events, birthday parties and field trips.
In Fennville, the big farewell will come in the form of the museum’s popular Noon Year’s Eve party. Families are invited to come out for a final celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 31. Pending a sale of the building, the museum will remain open for birthday parties and field trips in early 2023.
“We want to thank the community for their support and generosity over the years,” Onuki said. “Operating a tiny nonprofit in such a small town has been no easy feat, and we are proud of what we have accomplished together. We can’t wait to see what is next on the horizon and will continue to bring educational explorations to as many local families as we can.”

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