Inspiring children through art and creativity
In 2022, the leadership team, Board and staff engaged in a strategic planning process that led to updating our mission and vision:
Our mission: To spark creativity, exploration and a sense of belonging through interactive art experiences.
Our vision: To be the most innovative, most loved, most inspiring and most sustainable children’s museum in the world.
Our history: The Museum opened in La Jolla in 1983 as The Children’s Museum of San Diego. It moved in 1993 to a downtown warehouse to become the Children’s Museum/Museo de los Niños. The Museum reopened in 2008 as The New Children’s Museum – with the word “new” signifying our focus on commissioning contemporary artists to create immersive art installations for children to explore.
Our building. The New Children’s Museum is a dramatic, multi-level 50,000 square-foot building that includes a series of transparent, flexible spaces which visibly expose the building’s construction and design. Designed by visionary and award-winning architect Rob Wellington Quigley, the dynamic space is one of the first green museums in California.
Our commitment is to providing a welcoming space for all families. We believe that diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are integral to fulfilling our mission and engage children through engaging experiences with contemporary art. View our full DEAI Statement.
We empower children to think, play and create.
We commission and collaborate with contemporary artists to create one-of-a-kind room-sized art installations. We are one of the few children's museums in the country doing this.
Art plays a critical role in a child's development.
Early childhood engagement with art results in lifelong involvement and appreciation for the arts. We help children develop critical skills to achieve success in the 21st century.
Play allows children to engage and interact.
Play helps develop imagination, dexterity as well as physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development, and it is through play that children engage and interact in the world around them.