Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday, September 14, near Wilmington, NC. The effects have been devastating for many in the Carolinas and Virginia, and our hearts go out to all those affected.
There are dozens of children’s museums in the states most affected by Hurricane Florence, and many closed in preparation, as well as to deal with the effects of the storm. These museums worked quickly to reopen their doors and continue serving their communities. As of last week, most have reopened:
- The Children’s Museum of Wilmington (NC) closed from September 12 through September 20, and accepted pay-as-you-can admission for the first weekend after reopening. “We want to be available to the community so we will be accepting donations as admission (give what you can). We did sustain water damage so the diner will be closed until further notice. Due to limited staffing, our weekend hours are subject to change. Please check our social media pages for information … We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we recover from Hurricane Florence. We can’t wait to see you all soon!”
- [UPDATE] After closing in preparation for the hurricane, on September 25, Exploration Station (Lumberton, NC) announced it would return to its regular schedule on September 26.
- After several days of closure, The Sandbox: An InterActive Children’s Museum (Hilton Head Island, SC) resumed regular hours on September 18. The museum posted, “We were really lucky this time with the hurricane but continue to pray for our friends and neighbors further north in SC and NC. Thank you all for your patience and understanding! Come back and play with us! ”
- The Children’s Museum of Virginia (Portsmouth) closed from September 12 to September 17, reopening the next day. On September 19, they offered $5 admission for all visitors.
- The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC), did not close, but from September 12-16, offered free admission to children evacuating from the storm, as well as reciprocal admission to members of The Children’s Museum of the Low Country, The Sandbox, The Children’s Museum of South Carolina and The Children’s Museum of Wilmington.
- Discovery Place Kids – Rockingham (NC) experienced water damage, but fully reopened on September 20.
- EdVenture (Columbia, SC), Main Street Children’s Museum (Rock Hill, SC), Discovery Place – Science and Discovery Place – Nature (Charlotte, NC), and Discovery Place – Huntersville (NC) reopened on September 17.
- Hands On! Children’s Museum (Hendersonville, NC), Kidzu Children’s Museum (Chapel Hill, NC), and Greensboro Children’s Museum (NC) reopened on September 16.
- Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (Charleston, SC) reopened on September 15.
Last year, the ACM community came together after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and wildfires in Northern California to establish the ACM Disaster Relief Fund. Together we raised more than $14,000, which was directly distributed to staff at five affected museums.
While we are still working with the museums affected by Hurricane Florence to identify their needs, the Disaster Relief Fund remains open in perpetuity. As always, proceeds will be distributed as needed to directly support our colleagues in the children’s museum field. If you are moved to donate, please do so here!
As ACM hears back from those in our community affected by Hurricane Florence, we will continue to share updates.
If we have missed your museum in our roundup in error, please do not hesitate to get in touch!