About Us

Mission: to empower children and their families.

Vision: a community in which each and every child develops curiosity, confidence and self-worth.

kids on rails

Named “Best Museum” by Hudson Valley Magazine in 2019 and 2017, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (MHCM) is the ideal destination for children and families. With exhibits that focus on early literacy, art, early STEM, health and the local community, the museum welcomes 80,000 visitors each year and provides an educationally rich environment through which children have the opportunity to develop foundational skills, to engage in purposeful play, and to develop interpersonal connections.

MHCM is the ONLY children’s museum in the Hudson River Valley between the larger New York City and Albany markets. The museum is located in the heart of the historic waterfront in Poughkeepsie, just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station, the Walkway Over the Hudson’s Elevator, fabulous restaurants, and two waterfront parks.

MHCM has three areas of programmatic focus that direct its work in exhibits and educational programs: school readiness, health and wellness, and community-building. It’s galleries feature a variety of open-ended exhibits that encourage young children to practice and develop age-appropriate cognitive, physical and emotional skills.  It’s newest exhibition, “Tell Me a Story” opened in December 2017 and promotes early language and literacy skill development through storytelling and immersive physical play.  In 2016 MHCM opened two new learning spaces: The Science Center @ MHCM to advance early STEM education, and The Children’s Garden @ MHCM to teach families about growing their own food.  The museum is dedicated to engaging and serving a diverse audience of families from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds and of all abilities and needs through special admission and membership programs.

In 2017, MHCM launched the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market – a public farmers market bringing farm fresh produce to City of Poughkeepsie families, residents and visitors. The Market operates Monday afternoons in the Pavilion at MHCM from 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm, seasonally June through September.  In September 2019, MHCM was awarded the international “2019 Leading Edge Award for Business Practice” by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in Toronto, ONT for its creation of the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and its staff have been recognized with several major awards in the areas of leadership, community impact, and family engagement:

  • 2021 Best STEM Educator Award by Kids Out and About
  • “2019 Leading Edge Award for Business Practice” by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), Washington DC
  • 2019 “Best Museum” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2018 “Best Birthday Parties” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2017 “Best Museum” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2019 and 2018 #1 in “Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Hudson Valley” and 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 “Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum” in the Kids Out & About Hudson Valley Readers’ Poll
  • 2017 “Most Loved Place to Go” in Hulafrog’s Parent Poll
  • 2015 ATHENA Leadership Award by the Chamber Foundation, Inc.
  • 2015 Headliner Award for Leadership in Community and Organization by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • 2015 Family Entertainment Award of Distinction by Dutchess Tourism
  • 2015 Non-Profit Spotlight Award by the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational organization that is supported by admission and membership sales, program fees, donations, and grants. MHCM is a member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).