Most admired the building, but few loved the location when the Discovery Children’s Museum was on Las Vegas Boulevard in the city’s Cultural Corridor. For some families, the overlap with Downtown’s homeless corridor made it a less desirable destination. Fast-forward two years. Now located at Symphony Park, Discovery has become the kids’ destination Las Vegas deserved, the kind of fun (and educational) family attraction some say doesn’t exist here.
Though success seemed to arrive overnight, it’s been in the works for some time. The museum opened 25 years ago but spent much of that time as an underfunded nonprofit kept afloat by elementary school field trips. Those challenges were overcome by focusing on finances and fundraising, and a $32 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation that paid for its brand-new, three-story home next door to the Smith Center. The ever-generous Reynolds Foundation also sponsors public radio and community centers locally.
In its first year there, the children’s museum surpassed its own expectations with 360,000 visitors. As it marked two years this month, new CEO Tifferney White took the helm as an educator who helped design the new programming and interactive exhibits that kids seem to love so much. With a new leader and the attention it deserves, we can’t wait to see what happens in year three.