Temple Children's Museum is a Museum without walls. We currently travel throughout the local communities of Bell County with a dream of settling into a permanent home in Downtown Temple. For a more in depth look at where we've been and where we are going check out our presentation below!
Susan Chandler developed the idea of Temple Children’s Museum through visiting similar museums and her time spent volunteering at Austin Children’s Museum. When she and her family relocated to Temple, she knew there was a need for hands-on learning. In early 2016, Susan began recruiting like-minded individuals in the community from her moms’ group and sons’ preschool. The founders started meeting regularly to develop the idea into a reality.
In February of 2017, Ellen Burnett, Susan Chandler, Ashley Heinrich, and Kathryn Hermans presented the idea of a children’s museum to the board of the Cultural Activities Center (CAC) and were accepted as a member group. Not long after this presentation, Hannah Weekley joined as a founder, playing an integral role in the development of TCM’s first official fundraiser in May of 2017. The fundraiser, a grassroots effort geared towards influential women in Bell County, raised a little over $30,000.
In January of 2018 we added ten new board members. In April of that year, two families donated funds for us to purchase the property at 214 S. 2nd Street in downtown Temple. This is the future home of Temple Children's Museum! We had our 2nd Annual 100 Women Fundraising event in the spring and raised over $20,000, much of which went towards purchasing more exhibits. A grant from the City of Temple, along with generous donations from two local families allowed TCM to purchase a truck to transport exhibits to field experiences and pop-up events. Our Under Construction event in the fall gave the community an opportunity to see inside our building and provided hands-on construction activities for children (and adults) of all ages. At the end of 2018 we had our first Annual Yule Tide Home Tour which gave the community a peek inside some of the most unique homes in Bell County are, all decked out for the holiday!
So far, 2019 has been a busy year for TCM. Our 3rd Annual 100 Women event in April featured Liz Hodges from TLC's Hodges Half Dozen and we raised over $22,000 which will go towards the renovation of our building. We currently have 16 board members who are hard at work planning and organizing our next steps. We are working with an interior space planning firm, local architect, and local engineer to fully develop plans for our building. Look for information on our summer pop-ups, coming soon. Our all volunteer organization is always looking for teens and adults of all ages to come and help out with these events and learn more about Temple Children's Museum. Please join us on this journey by visiting one of our community pop-up events or donating!