Originally published in The Patch on 11/2/22 | by Scott Souza
PEABODY, MA — The North Shore Children’s Museum of Peabody will celebrate one month open to the public as the first children’s museum in Massachusetts north of Boston with a ribbon-cutting ceremony later this month.
The museum, which grew out of the CuriousCity pop-up museum in 2019, opened to the public in mid-October in the former TD Bank location at 10 Main Street.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt’s office then took what it learned from that pilot pop-up data and success, with a desire to boost small businesses and jumpstart the downtown area coming out of the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, and secured about $500,000 per year from the City Council last February to rent the former bank location and fund an annual operating budget.
The ribbon-cutting will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 16.
The museum is initially open Thursdays through Sundays with plans for expanded days and hours planned for 2023. Saturday hours are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sundays it is open from noon to 4 p.m. and it is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on both Thursdays and Fridays.
The museum includes 14 exhibits that cover different interests ranging from a train room to an outer space room, to storytelling and a sensory room that offers activities for children with autism and other sensitivities. There is also a baby room for younger siblings of children attending the museum.
“We’re always looking for things to do in the area where we can bond as a family outside of school,” Museum Director Ali Haydock told Patch last month. “This presents that kind of opportunity for families without having to drive to Boston or up to New Hampshire. For a lot of families around here, that’s just not possible logistically or economically.”
Haydock said the museum’s exhibits are ideally suited for children between ages 2 and 10 and the bookings for private parties are available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at Scott.Souza@Patch.com. Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)