Come Explore! Come Explore!

The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum is the ideal destination for families with young children. We celebrate childhood and are proud to offer exhibits that get kids moving, exploring, building, pretending, collaborating, creating and discovering.

Our exhibits focus on nature, science, literacy, art, music and community and allow children the opportunity to develop foundational learning skills.

Four exhibit galleries help families connect in meaningful ways through purposeful play. 

THE SCIENCE CENTER @ MHCM - Grand Opening Celebration February 27-28, 2016
Dedicated to early STEM education, this space invites young children and families to explore physics, engineering, light, color, magnetism and more through open-ended, hands-on play. In addition to new and updated exhibits, be sure to check out our Pop-up Science Cart, which will be home base for live science demonstrations, shows and special activities.

Please join us during our celebration:

IBM EMPLOYEE PREVIEW NIGHT - Tuesday, February 23 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.  For IBM Corporation employees only: get the first peek at The Science Center @ MHCM!  Special hands-on activities and refreshments will be provided.  The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum is pleased to recognize the lead support of the IBM Corporation in the development of The Science Center @ MHCM.

RIBBON CUTTING RECEPTION - Friday, February 26 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm.  Grown ups are invited to join the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce for a special ribbon-cutting event with local business leaders and community partners to officially open The Science Center @ MHCM.  Refreshments will be served and admission is free for this event.  (Adults only, please)

MHCM MEMBER PREVIEW NIGHT - Friday, February 26 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.  For MHCM Museum Member Families only: get a special sneak peek of The Science Center @ MHCM!  Special hands-on activities and refreshments will be provided.

OPENING WEEKEND - Saturday, February 27 from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm; Sunday, February 28 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.  Join us for the grand opening of The Science Center @ MHCM!  Explore new hands-on exhibits in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by designing, building, and experimenting in fun and colorful ways.  Opening weekend will feature special activities, live demonstrations and more!  Free with museum admission.

The Science Center @ MHCM was developed with major support from IBM Corporation and the Jeannette F. Schlobach Charitable Trust, and will be sustained through a special corporate membership program.
Founding Members of The Science Center @ MHCM include:

IBM Corporation
Dutchess Community College
Marist College Department of Teacher Education
SUNY New Paltz School of Science and Engineering
SUNY New Paltz School of Education
The Council of Industry
Central Hudson Gas & Electric
R.L. Baxter Building Corporation
Selux Corporation
Sholes & Miller, LLP

Is your business interested in supporting The Science Center @ MHCM?  Check out our Science Center Membership Levels and Benefits

Ready to join?  Please download and complete a Science Center Membership Form.

Link, Lift, Launch!  LINK, LIFT & LAUNCH is designed to encourage early STEM learning in children ages 3 and up. Exhibit stations incorporate award-winning pieces developed and fabricated by museum partners Flexhibit, KaBOOM!, KODO, Mindware and Thinker Linkers.  Open ended building, creativity, problem solving, sensory play, and collaboration are just some of the skills being developed through this exhibition.  Children and adults will have fun linking, lifting and launching in this new exhibition.


WonderDome is an immersive play space that features nine interactive sensory exhibits involving light and color.  Upon entry into the WonderDome, guests encounter the giant Reactor Cube where they are invited to create light-art using brightly colored acrylic rods aimed at developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination in young children.  Another exhibit that meets this need is Mag Maze, a back lit, magnetic ball maze.  Glo-Bot challenges children to collect glowing objects using a robotic arm that operates under black lights. 

Two exhibits that highlight the care and intentionality behind the development of this space as a sensory zone are the Light Waterfall, which is a soothing, color-changing floor length strands of LED fiber optics, and the Tactile Curtain, which invites children to scramble through a wall of noodles. WonderDome also includes hidden nooks and exhibits that explore shadows, depth, light and color.

WonderDome is designed to give children, parents, caregivers and therapists more options for using the children’s museum for both therapeutic and explorative play.  

WonderDome was developed with funds raised through the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum’s Annual Fund and is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Early Learning Junction and the News Stand

This dynamic learning space is specifically designed to encourage the development of critical school readiness skills in children ages 4 and under.  

Early Learning Junction invites young children to climb, crawl and scoot their way through the multi-level, interactive “Train Station.” Along the way, children will encounter several interactive air-play exhibits, can crank discs up a conveyer belt to a larger-than-life plinko board, explore textures and discover new hide-away spaces.   And while it may look like a mega-playscape, the “Train Station” is much more, with exhibits that promote skills such as sharing, communication, problem-solving and gross motor coordination – all developmental areas that are critical to school readiness.

The exhibition also features an enormous custom-built train table to encourage sharing, communication, fine motor coordination, and imaginative play.  Other exhibits in the Early Learning Junction include “Hudson Hills,” which is a series of vertical ball race tracks, a “Discovery Table” that features rotating hands-on activities, and the News Stand: a cozy reading nook filled with books and comfy seats.

Developed with funding from the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and the Dyson Foundation, Early Learning Junction exhibition opened the door for a new collaborative partnership between the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) in Washington, D.C., and several local pre-K programs. 

Imagination Playground

Young children LOVE the big blue blocks of Imagination Playground! Using Imagination Playground blocks, kids build a new world every day. They make objects like animals, rocket ships and robots. They make imaginary places like houses, factories and cities. They make new dramatic scenarios, settings and games to play. Because Imagination Playground is child-directed and open-ended, it encourages self-expression through joyful play.

Unlike toys and games, Imagination Playground blocks don't dictate to children the way they're meant to be played. There is no right or wrong way to play with them, which means even the youngest child can make their own open-ended fun!

Imagination Playground is a mobile exhibition which means it can invite adventure anywhere! Look for this dynamic play space to "pop up" in the museum, outdside in our pavilion, on the lawn at the park, and at local festivals.

The purchase of this exhibition was made possible with the generous support of TEG Federal Credit Union.

Featured Exhibitions


Bake a cake, build a house, shop for groceries, create a mesterpiece or be a fire fighter - all in RiverTown! Featuring playful, kid-sized shops and storefronts full of engaging activities and play areas, families can celebrate the diversity of the people who live in towns and cities throughout the Hudson Valley. In RiverTown, children and adults role-play the activities of our community.

RiverTown was created in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Fire Truck was designed and constructed by the Arlington Professional Firefighters. 

Hyde Park Mastodon and Fort Sifter

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is proud to feature a fully intact, re-constructed replica of a twelve-foot tall mastodon that lived during the Ice Age. The Mastodon is an exact replica of the perfectly preserved skeleton that was found just three miles from the Museum in Hyde Park, NY. What makes this exhibit really special is that it invites children to climb up next to the mastodon from “inside a giant tree trunk” and look the mastodon right in the eye – or, rather - the eye socket.  Development and installation of the Hyde Park Mastodon Exhibit was made possible with the generous support of the New York State/DEC Estuary Program, the Hudson River Foundation and the Dyson Foundation.


FORT SIFTER was inspired by backyard adventures, play forts and playing in the dirt, this exhibit may just be the funkiest sandbox your kids will ever see!

Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

75 North Water Street

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Fax: 845.471.0415