CMoR made its debut as the Richmond Children’s Museum in 1977.
An arrangement was made with the City of Richmond School Board for the Museum to lease the multi-purpose Navy Hill School building in downtown Richmond.
In 1981, the Museum opened to the public with its premiere exhibit, Boxes, Blocks, and Blueprints. For the next 18 years, CMoR welcomed children in to its small but heroic 8,100 square foot building. Then, in the year 2000, the Children’s Museum of Richmond opened its new 44,000 square foot
facility on West Broad Street.
Here is our story
- 1977: Richmond Children’s Museum makes its debut.
- 1981: The Museum opens to the public.
- 1985: The Museum increases its presence in the community by becoming involved in area festivals, events, and shows.
- 1986: The Cave, a 40-foot replica of an original Virginia limestone cave, is
introduced and quickly becomes the Museum’s most popular attraction.
- 1987: The first Executive Director is hired to guide the Museum in its endeavors.
- 1990: Ownership of the Navy Hill site transfers to the City of Richmond.
After a careful study by the Board of Trustees, plans begin for a new location and larger facility.
- 1992: Richmond Children’s Museum visibility explodes! Programs draw record numbers of visitors. The Museum’s image changes with a new brochure, new format for the annual report, and the development of the volunteer group, the Guild.
- 1994-1995: The Museum doubles its full and part-time staff.
- 1997: The Richmond Children’s Museum changes its name to Children’s Museum of
Richmond, putting children FIRST, and adds its tag-line, See More Do More Be More.
- 1998: Groundbreaking for the new Museum takes place at 2626 West Broad Street, located in mid-town Richmond.
- 1999: The Navy Hill facility officially closes to the public.
- 2000: The NEW Children’s Museum of Richmond opens on April 1.
- 2001: Attendance exceeds 225,000 the first year at CMoR’s new location.
- 2005: Legendary Santa makes his new, permanent home at CMoR.
- 2006: CMoR celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a 26-week series, Super Silver Saturdays and a signature fundraising event, “Shaken-n-Stirred”
- 2007: Annual attendance exceeds 228,000 and tops previous highest record set in 2000
- 2008: A new exhibit modeling a mini version of Richmond, Town Square is introduced featuring a TV studio, café, grocery store, health center, ambulance, bank, school and shadow park.
- 2009: The Little Farm play exhibit for children ages 0-3 is introduced
- 2009: The Dominion Solar Energy Exhibit (Sun Tube exhibit) is introduced, illustrating the process of harvesting the suns energy through photovoltaic panels, and the conversion of that energy to electricity.
- 2010: CMoR Short Pump location Grand Opening kicks off a new chapter in the museum’s nearly 30-year history.
- 2011: Legendary Santa celebrates his 75th anniversary with a Gala event at Saks Fifth Avenue, Richmond.
- 2012: CMoR Chesterfiled opens at the museum's second satellite location, placing it in the forefront of U.S. children's museums.