By September 5, 2022 0 Comments Read More →

BigView – Be a kid again!

It’s time for everyone to be a kid again!
by Chris Murphy
Every once in a while, we all need to be reminded to see the whimsy, the magic and the possibilities of our world. The way a kid views the world can be good for all of us. I kind of feel like a kid a lot, my own kids keep me young at heart and I try to look at ways to bring magic to the things that we do and to work hard to create civic pride. Modesto needs more places that create magic, in music, in song, in food and even our history. Magic helps us all, and the way you understand magic is to understand the science of how things work. Making science and technology fun is called exploration. As a kid, I loved the Exploratorium in SF and taking kids to the Tech in San Jose. Now, we are on the brink of bringing this amazing exploration to Modesto with the exciting new Modesto Children’s Museum. This will be a game changer for parents and kids and our youth culture for Modesto and it will be a great new addition to Modesto’s museum community.

Let’s get hands-on with the new MoChiMu with our tour guides, Chelsea and Ryan Foy!

Don’t let the word “museum” fool you – this isn’t like any museum you’ve ever seen! You may think of museums as quiet places where you can look but not touch. However, a children’s museum is a place of exploration, adventure, and hands-on learning. And the Modesto Children’s Museum will be filled with completely original exhibits, unique to MoChiMu and the Central Valley. When doors are open, Modesto Children’s Museum will be a place where children from all walks can feel welcome, be confident in who they are, and imagine all the possibilities for their future.

The Modesto Children’s Museum has two floors, filled with never-before-seen exhibits designed specifically for our community’s children. Created for children age 0-10, with special areas dedicated to babies and toddlers, the museum will also offer a robust selection of programming led by staff, local educators, and guest instructors. Take a look at just a few of the exhibits you’ll find inside!
On the Tall Tales stage, children and families bring their stories to life through music, dance, plays, puppetry, stagecraft, and all different kinds of performing arts. This immersive experience includes a projection control station, scenery, instruments, and more.
This unique climbing structure traverses across the atrium to immerse visitors through an open-ended physical experience. It uses sensory elements to encourage full-body engagement and risky play in a safe environment. Multiple slides and obstacles challenge young climbers, while an accessible entry point allows children with varying abilities to experience the climber equally.
The Water Lab is the place to dive into the joy of water through STEAM- powered discovery and creation. Principles of the water cycle, irrigation, flow, gravity, and more can be explored as children engineer with pieces like a waterfall wall, fog tubes, and hand pumps.
The Air Lab’s array of air tubes and tables are a platform for collaborative experiments, games, and challenges. Colored scarves and paper gliders assist children in learning about air flow, vacuum effects, valves, and more.

Little Rainbows is a safe and stimulating space for infants and toddlers to engage with their caregivers, explore on their own, practice gross- motor skills, and make color stories as they sort, blend, and build. This area is dedicated to early childhood (birth-3) with a range of multi- sensory experiences.
This highly immersive, hands-on area will help children explore concepts important to our local economy such as farm-to-table, food preparation, consumer choices, and more. Children will employ imagination and storytelling as they play at the checkout stand, in the kitchen, and more.
The Modesto Children’s Museum enriches the lives of all children by nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and a love for lifelong learning.
History of MoChiMu
Summer 2019
The Founding Board of Directors establishes the Modesto Children’s Museum nonprofit organization and begins exploring potential locations for the future museum.
Spring 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with children unable to attend school, the children’s museum distributed free STEAM activity kits to youth in the community.

Winter 2020
The Modesto Children’s Museum’s offer was accepted to purchase a building at 928 11th Street in Downtown Modesto. Fundraising begins for a capital campaign to launch the museum in this location.
Spring 2021
MoChiMu takes ownership of the building in downtown Modesto. Through a generous donation via the Stanislaus Community Foundation from three local families, the Museum is able to secure a down payment for the building purchase and procure a loan from Valley First Credit Union.
Summer 2021
The museum begins to build their team, hiring Gyroscope Inc. to design exhibitry, Carol E. Scott as a consulting director, and expanding the board of directors from six founding members to a group of 11.
Fall 2021
MoChiMu hosts a pop-up learning shop at the Downtown Modesto Farmers Market, and provides play-based learning experiences for the community’s children at DoMo’s First Friday events.
Winter 2021
Patty Hill Thomas joins MoChiMu as Project Manager, assembling a team of local industry professionals to build a world-class location.
Spring 2022
Exhibit design is completed and exhibit fabricators are selected.
After 18 months of privately fundraising, MoChiMu has raised nearly all of its $7.5 million dollar private capital campaign goal. The museum kicks off “Launch The Adventure,” a public capital campaign with a goal of $1.5 million dollars. The museum looks ahead to building renovations and exhibit fabrication, with a grand opening planned for mid 2023.
Board of Directors
Katie Barber – President
Ryan Foy – Vice President
Laura Byrd Gutierrez – Treasurer
Amy Abid Jeffries – Secretary
Diana Avalos
Jacob Barber
Jenavieve Brady
Ryan Brady
Chelsea Foy
Rosizela Pérez Jordan
Ashley Kipple
Ivey Mayol
Patty Ramirez

Consulting Director
Carol E. Scott

Project Manager
Patricia Hill Thomas

Exhibit Design
Gyroscope Inc. – Oakland, CA

Exhibit Fabrication
kubik maltbie – Mount Laurel, NJ
Boss Display – Columbus, OH

Red Inc. – Modesto, CA

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.