New Children’s Museum Opening Soon!

The Children’s Museum at JBLM, which broke ground in November 2018, converted the base’s old skating rink into a satellite facility of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, the first of its kind on a military installation.

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is the result of a partnership between Greentrike, whose programs include the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and Play to Learn Pierce County, and the JBLM Child and Youth Programs. The museum will serve the children of military families with an emphasis on early learners and those experiencing special needs.  At a recent visit to the facility the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, noted, “What a beautiful gift this is to the children here. The partnership with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma shows what can happen when communities both inside and outside the gates come together to support military families.”

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is situated on Lewis Main adjacent to the JBLM splash park, skate park and the bowling alley.  

The museum features multiple playscapes, including a water area, and art studio, and a climber. All playscapes are designed with an emphasis on STEAM activities for children 12 and under, inspiring creativity and imaginative play. 

JBLM has about 40,000 service members and about 63,000 family members. About 5,100 military families live on JBLM, and about 1,500 of the on-base families have children ages six and under.

This project is part of the Greentrike’s More than a Museum Campaign, to broaden its reach beyond the walls of its Tacoma-based museum and engage children and families throughout Pierce County in playful explorations together. 

Tanya Durand, Greentrike executive director said, “We are so excited to come alongside our longtime partners and make this museum a joyful, playful place for families living on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.”

After seven years of collaboration and building renovations to bring this project to its opening, JBLM Garrison Commander Col. Skye Duncan said, “We are incredibly thrilled to reach this day. We have thousands of kids with their families at JBLM, and there’s no better place to create the first on-base children’s museum than Joint Base Lewis-McChord.” 

The Children’s Museum at JBLM is made possible in partnership with The Boeing Company, Bamford Foundation, The Norcliffe Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Command, and MWR.

Boeing and its employees provided a combined $1.5 million to support the development and launch of the museum. “Military families deserve spaces like this to connect with each other, to explore new ideas and to inspire dreams,” said Bill McSherry, Vice President, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Government Operations. “Boeing is deeply committed to supporting our military families and communities. This includes employee hiring and retention efforts as well as investing in innovative partnerships like this first ever children’s museum on a military base.” 

For more information about the Children’s Museum at JBLM, visit www.playJBLM.org