SHEBOYGAN – Let’s Play! Above & Beyond Children’s Museum reopened for general admission and members on June 17 following more than a year-long facility shut down due to the pandemic. In addition to indoor offerings, the museum continues to host new Play Is Healing events and plans for a new outdoor playground set to open in Spring 2022.
Since closing its doors in March 2020, the museum reopens to the public. The multi-level museum located in downtown Sheboygan will be open Thursday-Sunday from 9am-4pm. Advanced registration will be required for two-hour timeslots and can be made online at http://www.abkids.org/visit/. Admission is $7 and memberships are available starting at $40. Members, passholders and gift certificates can be used to make a reservation by calling 920-458-4263.
“We are so excited to return to supporting children and families and help them feel comfortable and safe in our indoor spaces once again,” said Jackie Erdman, executive director of Above & Beyond Children’s Museum. “The museum is an outlet for truly imaginative play that is critical for children to benefit from as the world heals.”
In addition to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum’s indoor offerings the museum is bringing back the fun in 2021 with the new Play is Healing campaign. This full-fledged county-wide wellness initiative is currently in Phase 2 hosting unique special events and programming throughout the summer and beyond. Key program partners include Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Mental Health America, YMCA of Sheboygan County, and Sheboygan Recreation Department leading the charge alongside additional ‘playmates’ – Christopher Farm & Gardens, Mead Public Library, Road America, Dare to Dream Theatre and Plymouth Recreation Department. For more information and a schedule of events visit: https://www.abkids.org/programs/play-is-healing/.
In the near future, the museum will offer an ADA-accessible outdoor playground – The Purple Octopus Playground. The underwater-themed play place is designed around The Happiness Project Mural that graces the expansive North wall of the museum featuring a parent and child whale under the sea. The Purple Octopus Playground will be downtown Sheboygan’s first playground and will be located in the greenspace adjacent to the museum. Construction partner for the playground is Jos. Schmitt Construction of Sheboygan. The designer of the custom playground is MONSTRUM of Denmark.
“Not just your standard playground, the museum strived to bring something wholly unique, beautiful and fun to enhance the outdoor area with an artful play space,” said Erdman. “MONSTRUM creates artistic and structurally sound play structures focused on child development and accessibility for children of all abilities.”
The playground will be completed in two phases. The project will begin in October 2021 as the playground equipment is installed. The second phase will include pouring a rubber surfacing and landscaping planned for Spring 2022. The site of the playground will be 90 feet long and 47 feet wide with landscaping designed by Bookworm Gardens of Sheboygan.
Financial support will be provided by confirmed pledges from Jay Christopher, The City of Sheboygan, Harbor Centre BID, Catharine B. Stayer Foundation, The Becca Grace Foundation, Terry Kohler Family Foundation, Kohler Foundation, Inc., Sheboygan Evening Lions Club, The West Foundation, and Sargento Foods.
“Play is essential to childhood growth, it is a powerful healing component, and having a public, ADA-accessible playground in the heart of downtown Sheboygan guarantees our community’s children and visitors have a safe space to play and grow no matter their socio-economic status or abilities,” said Erdman.
Above & Beyond Children’s Museum seeks donations for various needs including funds to operate and in support of new and current programming and outreach initiatives. Donations can be made by visiting http://www.abkids.org, by calling (920) 458-4263, or via mail to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, 902 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53081.
For more information on Above & Beyond Children’s Museum visit http://www.abkids.org. Stay up-to-date with museum announcements, events and programming on Facebook at ABKIDS and Instagram at aboveandbeyondchildrensmuseum.
Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9am-Noon and 1-4pm
**Limited to 60 guests per time slot. The museum will close from Noon to 1pm for cleaning and sanitation. Masks required for all guests over three years old.**