The children's museum grows in Brooklyn ... you can't miss it

There's nothing like a museum for children to perk up a neighborhood. As if to underscore this point, the Association of Children's Museums in Washington reports that 75 of them are flagships in downtown revitalization projects. Perhaps the oldest such museum in the country is Brooklyn's, which was founded in 1899 and, in September, will reopen after completing a huge renovation. A $46 million expan-sion will double its floor space and, if all goes as planned, increase annual attendance from 250,000 to 400,000. That would place it among the association's most visited members, based on the most recent data available. The busiest children's museums, their locations, and 2007 attendance figures, according to the association:

  • 1. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis1.1 million
  • 2. Chicago Children's Museum 770,954
  • 3. The Children's Museum of Houston764,500
  • 4. ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center (Charlotte, N.C.)694,329
  • 5. Great Explorations, The Children's Museum (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 602,046
  • 6. Strong National Museum of Play (Rochester, N.Y.) 440,110
  • 7. Minnesota Children's Museum (St. Paul, Minn.) 404,470
  • 8. Duke Energy Children's Museum (Cincinnati)385,384
  • 9. The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum383,612
  • 10. Miami Children's Museum 358,128
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