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The Building for Kids

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The Building for Kids Children's Museum believes in building imagination, creativity, and confidence in our community's youth, from crawlers through age 7. As a children's museum, we accomplish this mission through providing a safe space for families to learn through play by exploring hands-on, educational exhibits, as well as curriculum-based classes for field trips and special programs throughout the year.


The children's museum was established in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1991. It opened its doors in November 1992 as the Fox Cities Children's Museum, occupying only a section of the second floor. In 2006, the museum was expanded and completely renovated with new exhibits designed by kids for kids under the new name The Building for Kids. Nearly 110,000 visitors enjoy the museum each year.

Thank You

The Building for Kids, Inc., is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization supported by donations, memberships, admissions, and gift shop sales. The museum does not receive local, state, or federal funding. The generosity of the community we serve has enabled us to bring exciting traveling exhibits and offer fun family events throughout the year. Thank you for your support. We wouldn't be here without you! Learn how to donate today.


More than Just a Place to Play

While it may be a lot of fun, your time at The Building For Kids is more important than you may suspect. Play is a critical part of a child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Each exhibit and program at The Building for Kids is specifically designed to foster these development areas through building imagination, creativity, and confidence, and corresponding educational goals are posted in each exhibit area.

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." -Fred "Mister" Rogers

Kids Lead the Way, and Parents Join In

The Building For Kids experience is designed to revolve around children, but adults have just as much fun and are encouraged to play everywhere the children play. Studies have shown that "the level of children's play rises when adults play with them," and that one of the key elements of this benefit is the ability of the child to lead that play. These studies show that when a parent engages in imaginative and creative play with their child, the benefits are immense. Children who have the opportunity to lead adults in play demonstrate richer and more abstract thinking.

To ensure that your children get the most out of their experience, don't be afraid to join in on the fun. By all means, feel free to climb the tree forts, put on a fire helmet, and take the Gulfstream jet for a spin. You'll have a great time!

  • Ginsburg, Kenneth R. The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. American Academy of Pediatrics. January 2007.
  • Hirsch-Pasek, Kathy, and Michnick Golinkoff, Roberta. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards. Rodale 2003.

Keeping The Building for Kids Healthy for You

Thousands of families visit The Building for Kids Children's Museum, and we want your visit to be safe and healthy. We strive to keep our museum clean and comfortable for you and your children. We regularly wash the water area raincoats, doll hospital scrubs and baby clothes, grandma's attic clothing, happy baby garden costumes, firefighter coats and hats, and overalls. Every evening a commercial cleaning service comes in to clean the floors and bathrooms. We steam clean our carpets and buff our floors as needed. Our staff and volunteers use disinfecting wipes throughout the day on surfaces you and your children touch, including our paint brushes, glue sticks and other art supplies. Hand sanitizer is available for your use in several areas of the museum. We hope the only unexpected thing you'll take home is some extra glitter--we use lots of it, and it sparkles everywhere!

Flu Guidelines

Keeping The Building for Kids Safe for You

Once a year, we hire a nationally-certified safety consultant to inspect the entire museum, and we make the recommended changes to ensure your safety. Additionally, the museum's doors are locked and alarmed. The only entrance and exit is through our main door. This door slides open and closed to enable strollers to pass safely. However, it also has an electronic eye which will not allow a small child to exit the building unaccompanied.

Museum staff conduct daily inspections of all major exhibits and immediately correct any safety concerns. If you see anything that needs attention, please let our staff know. We appreciate your help in keeping all our children safe.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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