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Supporting a Healthy Cause

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The next Discovery Fitness event: Yoga
Saturday, June 2nd • 4 p.m.
Chldren’s Museum of Wilmington
116 Orange Street

PLAYTIME AT THE MUSEUM: The Children’s Museum of Wilmington welcomes more than 51.000 visitors annually. Since 1997 kids have ventured to the center to simultaneously learn and play. Courtesy photo

Good news for children (and parents) planning to visit the Children’s Museum of Wilmington this summer. On May 18th, the museum announced that it is the latest recipient of a grant from the Eshelman Foundation in support of the its Discovery Fitness program.

“The Discovery Fitness program is meant to provide a high-quality fitness program that will attract and enrich lives in the community,” Director of Development Danielle Williams states. “The grant will help purchase equipment such as mats, balls, buckets, ropes and human-anatomy material for the kids,” she says.

The Eshelman Foundation is a private family foundation begun in 2008 and is based out of Wilmington. The organization is dedicated to helping children receive the proper education to live a healthy, happy lifestyle. Since its inception the Eshelman Foundation has given out grants to schools, hospitals, counseling centers and child-abuse centers locally and statewide.

“We think that the Discovery Fitness program will benefit kids in our region by teaching children how important physical fitness is and also by teaching them about environmental science and the anatomy of their bodies,” Kimberly Eshelman of the Eshelman Foundation replies. “We also believe that there will be a large impact for this grant because of the number of children this program can serve.”

The “Discovery Fitness” program is held every Saturday at 4 p.m. Upcoming sessions include activities such as yoga, wilderness survival, flash-flood survival, and a game of food-pyramid hopscotch. Children of all ages and parents are welcome to attend. The program is free with admission into the Children’s Museum.

According to their website, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington’s mission is “to stimulate children’s imagination, curiosity and love of learning.” Since the opening of its doors in 1997, the Museum has worked hard to achieve that goal. It has become one of the most popular places for children in the Cape Fear region to visit, welcoming over 51,000 visitors per year. With the continuous support of members and visitors, donations, and yearly grants, the museum continues to flourish.

In 2006, the museum moved from its Market Street location to the corner of 2nd and Orange streets. The Children’s Museum of Wilmington now has twelve exhibits, a courtyard, a secret garden, and a gift shop for all to enjoy.

Aside from Discovery Fitness, the museum offers a wide array of programs daily. These activities range from story time to writer’s club to cooking, art, math and engineering classes. With this broad selection of activities to choose from, kids don’t have to look much further than the Children’s Museum to find something fun to fill their summer days.

For instance, on June 8th and 9th, the museum will host a summer kick-off pool party with free Rita’s Italian Ice—what pair better with warm summer fun than Rita’s? And on Independence Day they will hold a special celebration from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with explosive activities such as an air-rocket challenge, firework painting, and soda explosions. Families can order dinner at the museum or pack a picnic to enjoy before the fireworks downtown on the waterfront.

The museum also has declared August 10th “Mud Day,” wherein children can put on mud masks, make mud pies, and paint with mud. It’s every parent’s dream—their kids get to play in mud and someone else cleans up the mess!

The museum’s website boats the slogan, “So many things to do… so little time.” Folks should be sure to make time this summer to check out all of the awesome events this local funhouse has to offer. The complete monthly for the Children’s Museum of Wilmington is available online at

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