Imagine Our Future

Future Theatre | Future Exhibits

 
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The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine will be building a new home at Thompson’s Point!

The re-imagined Museum & Theatre will serve as both a community hub and an educational resource to support children and caregivers. Utilizing an educational framework based upon play, family, and inclusivity, the Museum & Theatre will continue to focus on four key content areas: early Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM); multicultural; arts; and early childhood education.

An Essential Community Resource:

In communities across the nation, children’s museums are treasured, vital resources for early childhood education and improved quality of life. They offer fun, enriching, activities in a safe environment that serves families from all walks of life.

Play Is Powerful:

Widespread research has consistently documented the essential role of creative play and stimulating educational experiences in early childhood development.  Experts in the field affirm that it is an absolutely critical part of their physical, social and emotional development.

Building for the Future:

The new Thompson’s Point location provides improved visibility and access to public transportation, convenient dedicated parking, considerable outdoor space, and future expansion possibilities.  With a larger, 30,000 square foot facility, innovative and interactive exhibits, a 100-seat children’s theatre, outdoor play areas, community green space, expanded parking and enhanced access for visitors of all abilities, we will be able to bolster our community building efforts through more programs serving families of all economic means, children with special needs, and Maine’s immigrant and refugee communities.

The Museum & Theatre will remain open at its current location (142 Free St.) in downtown Portland until construction at Thompson’s Point is completed. Check back to see updates on our progress!

To learn more about how you can support this exciting project, contact Rose Splint, Capital Campaign Manager, via email or call (207) 828-1234 x221.

Future Theatre

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Designed specifically with our young actors and audiences in mind, our new 100-seat theatre will allow for a wide range of performances. The stage and thoughtful, oval-shaped seating design will ensure that every child in every seat will be able to see and hear the show. We will have backstage space for dressing rooms, a dedicated tech booth, and even a soundproof viewing room. In addition, outside organizations will be able to rent the theatre for performances, lectures, and rehearsals.

Future Exhibits

First Floor

Playscape (a climbing exhibit)

Jump, slide, and crawl in our first floor indoor playground! With adventure and never-ending possibilities for all ages, this indoor playscape features climbing structures that include slides, towers and ramps.

 

Outside

Exterior Exhibit and Play Space

Multiple exterior exhibits and a garden classroom will be located within a large, fenced outdoor area accessible to all Museum & Theatre visitors.  The garden classroom will invite families to explore concepts such as biology, food systems and cultural education, and will provide hands-on experience with gardening, cooking, and composting. In addition to the garden classroom, this space will feature a large play structure, an enclosed sand play area, and a shelter-building activity.  Each component has been designed to encourage discovery and exploration of the natural world.

Outdoor Community Gathering Area

The Community Gathering Area will be accessible to the general public. Designed to reflect the Museum & Theatre’s core values of community, art, education, and play, this area will serve as a public meeting area and event space. Picnic tables will invite neighbors as well as Museum & Theatre visitors to enjoy the open space. The area will also feature a stone labyrinth, kinetic art sculpture, and standing stones.

 

Community Floor

Smallport, Maine (a community exhibit)

Firetruck

Back by popular demand! Slide down a brass fire station pole and become a firefighter in a life-sized fire truck! Try on some gear, climb into the driver's seat and race to the scene - don't forget to turn on the authentic fire engine lights and sirens! This is a great place to reinforce the importance of fire safety.

Book Nook

Cozy up in our seaside cottage. This intimate space allows you to read and rest. Choose from a collection of books in many languages and read alone or with each other in a room with a view.

Train

All aboard; here comes the train! This modern train features a passenger car as well as a freight car. Ride in the passenger car, load up the freight car with luggage or be the conductor and drive the train yourself! Don’t forget to visit the train station, where you can dress up as the ticket master and give customers tickets through our ticket window.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center is a perfect place to learn the importance of health while getting familiar and comfortable with being in a doctor’s office! Dress up in medical attire to examine a teddy bear with real tools and measurements. This exhibit offers a chance to care for others and to practice empathy.

Jetport

Fly through the world! Journey over to this mini airport and fly along with the real planes, visible just outside the window from this little two-seat plane. Head into the control tower, where you can listen to real time live feed of the actual control tower across the river! Don’t forget to put your luggage onto the conveyor belt and send it down to the plane.

Wharf: Chowder Shack & Fish Market

Where the service is always great and the lobster is always fresh: The Wharf features a chowder shack and fish market so you cook with fresh seafood straight off the boat. Prepare fish chowder and scoop ice cream, or go all out and cook a traditional Maine shore dinner. Experiment with food combinations and explore your creativity in the kitchen.

Lobster Boat

Navigate the deep blue in a lobster boat! Learn about Maine's working waterfronts, practice knot-tying, and get your vessel sea-worthy before you set out. Climb aboard, bait and haul the traps, and navigate your way back to Portland Harbor.

Toddler & Infant Cove

Feel safe and sheltered in this fenced off seaside cove for children 2 and under. Learn to crawl and walk up cushioned steps at the interactive sand castle. Explore nooks and crannies, textured panels, a mirror with a pull-up bar, and age appropriate books. Float scarves and balls high in the air over a Bernoulli blower. Enter the infant zone to explore squishy, engaging floor mats and other sensory elements.

Visitor Amenities

Designed for our youngest visitors, the community exhibit features a family restroom and a nursing nook. The nursing nook features a quiet, comfortable place for feeding baby. It is also equipped with a changing station. The family restroom is a larger, gender-neutral restroom designed for one person or one family unit to use at one time.

Sharing ME (a multicultural exhibit)

Learn about all the amazing people who call Maine home! Sharing ME serves as the central hub for family-oriented cultural education within our state. The exhibition brings stories and traditions of cultures from around the world to life and provides a platform for you to share stories of your own. An integrated workshop, with a small stage and demonstration kitchen, extends the experience into art, performance, and food education.

 

Science Floor

From the Mountains to the Sea (a hands-on aquatic exhibit)

Connect with Maine’s watersheds and explore Maine’s varying ecosystems from the mountains to the sea! Get up close and personal as you meet Maine species from turtles to river trout in aquatic tanks featuring native habitats. Investigate the world of skates and rays through hands-on exploration of a large salt water touch tank. A flowing waterfall connects the mountain lake exhibit into a touch tank full of river fish! Create your own campsite and learn about the importance of environmental stewardship. Peer under the wharf at the fish below and learn how creatures utilize human-made objects as they make their own communities. Wall to wall murals featuring scenic Maine locations create an immersive experience in this aquarium exhibit.

STEM Galleries

Illuminate (a color and light exhibit)

Explore the amazing phenomenon of light! Enter this dark exhibit and harness the power of light. Head to the light wall to create a design or use engineering to create patterns from illuminated blocks. Dance in front of a shadow wall to make colors with every twirl. Create your very own stop-motion animation movie. This exhibit features a one-of-a-kind periscopic camera obscura with views of the Fore River and beyond. Let light inspire your curiosity and wonder! 

Water (a water exhibit)

Put on your rain jacket because this is the splash zone! This exhibit features 2 water works tables full of activities designed so all ages can join in the fun. Use cranks and levers to control water, or use the open-ended building station to divert water every which way. Use the laws of physics and the force of water pressure to send balls high into the air and into pipes lining the ceiling. Watch the balls come back down through a swirling vortex of water. Let water inspire your inquiry and experimentation!

Ramp Up (an air, ramps, and balls exhibit)

Launch, lift, and spring using a one-of-a-kind 6 sided, 10 foot tall, interactive ball sculpture. Engineer your own ball coaster with tracks and ramps, then observe the power of gravity through your creation! This exhibit also features an early childhood section where you can play with kinetic energy, speed, and velocity. Let air and ramps inspire your critical thinking and problem solving!