What’s Happening in the Museum?

It was almost magic how Sarah Osteen became our new museum manager.  A native of Arizona, she often came to town with her husband Scott and two young sons, Nolan and Liam, to visit her brother-in-law, who lived in the area. Because they’re outdoor enthusiasts who love to camp, hike and fly fish, Missoula seemed like a perfect place. The fact that her kids loved the children’s museum didn’t hurt either.

For nearly a decade they talked about moving here, but it was just talk.

“It was getting to the point where we had to quit daydreaming about it, and do something,” Sarah says. “So we did.”

Earlier this year, her husband was hired by A & E  Architects here in town, and just as they were preparing to move, Sarah noticed the job opening for the museum manager. She went through the hiring process and was offered the job. Accepting it and starting work in late August has been exciting.

In Arizona, there was always a feeling of magic when she’d take her kids to the Phoenix Children’s Museum. Think Tom Hanks in the movie Big. She wants that feeling  here in Missoula–for children and adults alike.

“I want to create that feeling of magic,” she says. “I want to wow people with the experience when they walk through our door.”

She learned about “magic” as a college student working for a summer in Disneyland—the Magic Kingdom. It’s a feeling where you’re almost living in a Fantasyland and your inner child bubbles to the surface. All your senses are engaged and happiness percolates from your very being. That’s what she envisions for our future

Already, Sarah has big plans to improve the museum and link it more closely with our parenting programs. And looking to the future, she’s can’t wait for our new location in the forthcoming public library—a location that ironically—or perhaps magically!—is being designed by  her husband’s architectural firm. “I’m bananas with excitement about the potential of that space!” she says enthusiastically.

In the meantime, Sarah’s enjoying the sense of community she’s found in Missoula and all the area has to offer—in addition to the fact that you can be outside without melting in 115 degree temperatures! She’s also eager to hear from you about your suggestions for the museum and how we can improve your experience here–now and in the future.

She wants it to be your museum. And She wants it to be magic.

“Only magic!” she says.

Do you have a suggestion or thought for Sarah? Contact  her by phone (406) 541-7529 or email.

Aug 7, 2017

The renovations in the museum have led many people to ask: “Are you still doing birthday parties?” The answer is “Yes.” Birthday parties and other celebrations are still being offered, but will now be held in the new dedicated party space in the front of the museum.

Party times can be reserved on Saturday: 10:00-11:30 am; 12:30-2:00 pm; and 3:00-4:30 pm. On Sundays, available times are12:30 – 2:00 pm and 3:00-4:30 pm. Two party packages are offered and both are real bargains!

The Basic Bash is just $100 and includes:

  • Private party area reserved for 90 minutes.
  • Dedicated party host.
  • Museum admission for up to 15 children for the day.
  • Museum admission for all supervising adults for the day (We require one adult for every 5 children to ensure adequate supervision.)
  • Free admission pass for a future museum visit for each child attending the party.
  • Coupon for a free carousel ride for each child attending the party.
  • Cups, plates, forks and napkins for your guests. (You provide cake and candles, food and drink and party bags if desired.

These upgrades are also available

  • Face painting for $20.
  • Invitation postcards for $15.
  • Additional children $5 per child.

The $165 Blowout Bash includes everything in the Basic Bash plus lemonade, cake and candles, party bags for every child and personalized invitations for your guests. Face painting for $20 and additional admissions for $5 per child are also available.

For more information or to reserve your party, call (406) 541-7529.


July 5, 2017

As you may have already noticed, there have been a lot of changes to the museum these last few months and we have some more big changes coming in July! Recently, we’ve added a big play structure to the dress up area for your kiddos to play in, on and under. It even has a puppet theatre! Another new addition is our Big Blue Blocks. These are great for kids of all ages, including those “young at heart” adults! Children can practice their early engineering skills by building a skyscraper or a racetrack with the blue blocks, or they can let their imagination run wild and create structural masterpieces! But as we add new exhibits, we also have to retire some older ones. This week we said goodbye to the fishing bridge and the Go Fish! exhibit. It’s sad to see it go, but we have plenty more exciting changes just around the corner.

On that note, while we are closed for our renovations during the last week of July, here are some ideas to bring the museum home and keep those little brains and bodies moving:

Cook together! Kids can measure out ingredients, stir them around, or even just spread jelly on some bread. You can talk to them about “Go, Slow, and Woah” foods, just like at the museum!
Make a puppet! Find an old sock (or a bunch of them) and use glue, scissors, markers, or anything else you have on hand to make sock puppets! Have a puppet show and make up your own or reenact one of your family’s favorites!
Float a boat! Make one of the floating foam boats at the museum during our weekly craft July 11th-15th and use that to bring the water table to your house. Float it in the bathtub, pool, or even the kitchen sink! Encourage your kids to use different tools like watering cans, straws, or funnels to discover how water moves.