You’re invited to the Johnstown Children’s Museum’s 15th Birthday Celebration!

You’re invited to the Johnstown Children’s Museum’s 15th Birthday Celebration!

Posted: May 19, 2024 1:45 pm

The Johnstown Children’s Museum is having a birthday, and you’re invited!

The Johnstown Children’s Museum 15th Birthday Celebration is set for Sat., Jun. 8 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm special activities, food and fun. The event, which is free, is made possible by generous sponsorship from Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates, Inc.

“The museum has educated and entertained countless area children since its June 2009 opening,” said Patty Carnevali, JAHA president and CEO. “It’s a real asset to our community and young families.”

From June 3-6, birthday decoration crafts will be offered in the museum’s makerspace so the community can help decorate for the party.

The June 8 party will feature goats from Trinity Farms in the courtyard, a giant pinata, facepainting, complimentary ice cream and drinks courtesy of Galliker’s, and birthday cake. A basket party will be offered in the gift shop, and Main Street Pizzeria will be vending. Community partners will be presenting activities and displays, including Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates, Community Action Partnership of Cambria County, Cambria County Library, Beginnings, The Learning Lamp, Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, Professional Family Care Services and more.

Museum crafts during the party will include birthday hats and crowns, a cupcake craft, and birthday card making. Attendees will be invited to make scrapbook entries about their memories of the museum, and the resulting scrapbook will be displayed in the new Living Room exhibition.

JAHA museum staff have put together a birthday wish list on Amazon for anyone who would like to give the museum a “birthday present.”

“Birthday gifts” for the museum

The 7,000-square-foot museum is located on the third floor of the Heritage Discovery Center. While most children’s museums are themed on science and/or art, the Johnstown Children’s Museum’s theme is place – it is designed to allow children to learn through play about the area’s culture, ecology, industry, geography, and history. As a sign at the museum’s entry reads, “Where we live shapes who we are. Who we are shapes where we live.”

In 2009, the museum featured a water room, “Inclimber” replica of the Inclined Plane with a coal mine underneath, a store, a play kitchen, and a “mix-master” sound feature, as well as several free play areas. JAHA staff have continued to develop the museum, including the following:

Wentzscope: New in 2020, this sturdy microscope designed for museum installations allows even the youngest children to explore the world of microscopy. It features a large eyepiece so that more than one child can view each of five specimens mounted on non-breakable plexiglass.

The Conemaugh/Duke LifePoint Career Corner: This interactive play area that allows kids to explore various career directions with dress-up clothes, activity areas, a “doctor’s office” and more opened in 2019.

The Living Room: The newest feature of the Johnstown Children’s Museum opened in April 2024. This 1940s-era living room has a radio with different programs to listen to, a display of family photos of Johnstowners from generations past, games, artifact exhibits and more. The living room is made possible by generous support from Somerset Trust and donations to the museum in memory of Dr. Sidney Goldblatt.

“My daughter, Linnea, was one of the first kids to play in the museum, as she was 5 when it was being built,” said Shelley Johansson, JAHA’s longtime communications director. “She’s a rising college junior now, but still has fond memories of growing up in the museum. It’s fitting to come together to celebrate the museum and its continued development.”