Above & Beyond Children's Museum looks to expand exhibits

Above & Beyond Children’s Museum thrives on a connection through exploration and discovery in a three-story historic building in the heart of downtown.

This past year, no different than the last five years, the museum has experienced significant increases in membership and public admissions as well as complimentary visits by military and in-need families in Sheboygan County.

“The interest and activity at the museum is palpable,” said Executive Director Jeff Mehn. “Our team is harnessing that energy to continue to elevate the offerings to our local community and area visitors with a focus on incorporating STEAM exhibits and programming.”

Last year the museum experienced enhancements from the inside and out through partnerships with community companies and corporations creating unmatched exhibits and engaging events.

In 2016, the museum found great partners in two local businesses with the creation of the Just Orthodontics Human Shadow & Mystic Glow Room and SEAS – Sheboygan Area Sailing – Imagination Sail Boat, Knot Tying and Pulley Exhibit. On the exterior of the building, passersby delight in the ongoing enhancements to the exterior of the building including expansive new windows, retouched façade and trim work. Careful design work and planning has been put forth for the restoration of the building.

Last year, Above & Beyond Children’s Museum hosted an annual fundraiser – Tastefully Childish. The event format and setting is unlike any other fundraiser with a spin on a "A Night at the Museum" for adults. Each floor of the interactive three-story museum comes alive as guests explore cuisine and libation stations. While guests indulge on mature twist on childhood food favorites - i.e. Truffle Mac & Cheese and Pork Carnitas Tacos with Cheesy Cheddar Chipotle Sauce and Pineapple Salsa - they'll discover the museum's experiential exhibits, carnival-style nostalgic games, festive music and interactive activities.

For this year's flavorful event, guests will enjoy offerings from Sargento, Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates, Sprecher Restaurant & Pub, 3 Sheeps Brewing Co., The Blind Horse Winery, 8th Street Ale Haus, Torke Coffee, Vintage, Menchies, and more. The second annual Tastefully Childish is set for Sept. 30 from 6-9 p.m. Ticket information available soon.

On the horizon for 2017, the museum will open an al fresco Musical Garden in partnership with Rotary, relocate and enhance the Food Market with support from Nourish, and expand the nostalgic Circus Exhibit – a visitor favorite.

Looking beyond, the museum celebrates its 25th anniversary of serving the community and enhancing the lives and experiences of children and their families.

With a drive to continue to build upon its astonishing growth, the museum continually seeks funding to support the operations, programming, enhancements, and expansion of the museum. There is a dedicated effort to excel as a special place for children and their families where play and education connect through exploration and discovery.

“We welcome folks that have yet to see the museum, or haven’t visited in the past several years, to visit us and explore all it affords,” said Board President Lynda Torke. “Children of all ages are sure to delight in the imagination-harnessing atmosphere.”