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A Twin Falls group wants to bring a children's museum to the city

A conceptual rendering of the Children's Museum of the Magic Valley
Children's Museum of the Magic Valley
A conceptual rendering of the Children's Museum of the Magic Valley

Tenille Adams has been thinking about starting a children’s museum in Twin Falls for about four years. A mom of three, she enjoyed taking her kids to museums on family vacations and thought it could be a great addition to the Magic Valley.

Adams helped form the nonprofit Children’s Museum of the Magic Valley. At the time, there were no children’s museums in Idaho.

Now, there’s one in Meridian and one in Pocatello.

The organization currently operates as a “museum without walls,” hosting STEM education nights at local elementary schools. But the end goal is to build a 14,000-square-foot museum in downtown Twin Falls.

The exhibits will reflect south-central Idaho.

“As agriculture is such a strong part of the Magic Valley, we plan to have a farmer's market,” she said. There are also plans to replicate local natural elements like the Snake River.

Adams said museums draw tourists who tend to stay in a place for longer, but she also thinks it could help with the region’s economic development goals.

“There are a lot of people that are excited to be able to have a children's museum because it will be a draw for more businesses coming,” she said. “Employees want to have family amenities, and there are not very many amenities for children.”

The Twin Falls County population grew by about 2% in the first year and a half of the pandemic. Adams said families moving to the area want more options to have fun with their kids.

The organization still needs to raise a lot of money for this to happen — about $12 million. It’s in exclusive negotiation with the city’s urban renewal agency for a plot of land downtown and has been reporting its fundraising progress to the city.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2022 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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