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Exclusive sneak peek of progress at Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert reimagination

The temporary closure of the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage in December 2020 has left families across the Coachella Valley asking when the beloved museum will reopen.

The space known for its interactive fixtures and hands-on learning exhibits shuttered at the time, due to lack of revenue brought on by reduced admissions amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

The museum's CEO, Cindy Burreson, said she decided to use that time and keep it closed to pursue a bold reimagination project.

Cindy Burreson, CEO Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert

News Channel 3 got an exclusive first-hand look at the construction progress so far, which will eventually result in 40 new exhibits, said Burreson.

Burreson, has been fundraising and accessing grants to help cover the costs of the project. She said so far the museum is half-way to its $3 million goal, but still needs financial support from members of the community to ensure the museum's tentative reopening either at the end of the year or early next year.

The new exhibits will be featured throughout six different sections of the museum: Imagine, Move, Express, Experiment, Dream, and Explore.

Burreson said these exhibits will continue to cater to the youngest children in our communities up to 8-years-old.

While she is still fine tuning the details on new programming that will be offered at the museum, Burreson said a lot of it will focus on the needs of older kids.  

“That will be things like life skills classes and things that maybe are a little bit more technologically advanced,” Burreson explained.   

Not only is the museum adding new exhibits meant to expand children's' learning in fun and interactive means, but it's also repurposing some old fan favorites.

The pizza place will make a return and the grocery store will soon be featured as a farmer's market to highlight the Coachella Valley's agricultural history.

In regards to a timeline for when themuseum will welcome families back depends on a couple of factors.

"We’re hoping to reopen by the end of the year or early next year, of course that’s all dependent on our community's support and fundraising efforts,” said Burreson.

Anyone interested in donating can visit the museum's website for details on how you can contribute.

Include your family or business name on a "crayon" surrounding the museum's courtyard with a $15,000 donation. Labels are displayed for 4 years with the option to renew.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage of construction progress at the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert.

Be the first to know when news breaks in Coachella Valley. Download the News Channel 3 app here.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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