Sheboygan children’s museum to reopen

The Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in Sheboygan will reopen on Tuesday, March 7, after sustaining $150,000 in ice and water damage in December.

“Knowing we were unable to serve families and children through a safe, clean, indoor space that is so beloved has been the most difficult part of all of this – especially with it being wintertime,” said Jackie Erdman, executive director of the Above & Beyond Children’s Museum.

Despite insurance covering the cost of repairs, the museum is actively seeking donations to recover lost revenue from admissions during the closure. The museum is fundraising $20,000 in an effort to reach the original $100,000 goal, according to a press release.

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Fundraising highlights include two matching donations of $25,000 each from an anonymous donor and Efroymson Family Fund. In addition, Sheboygan-based 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. hosted a family-friendly fundraiser at the taproom in January that raised $11,000.

“Above & Beyond Children’s Museum is a huge part of our community, and we are trying to do our part to get them back up and running,” said Grant Pauly, founder and head brewmaster of 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. “My family has been a member for years and we know firsthand how important the space is to the children and families of our community.”

In December, the museum was closed indefinitely due to damage from bursting water pipes and the sprinkler system valves that occurred on Christmas Day and affected all four floors of the museum. But not all was lost, Erdman said.

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“One of the biggest silver linings is that we have been able to assess the museum top to bottom to make our space as efficient and safe as possible moving forward,” Erdman said.

Once open, museum visitors can expect to see their favorite exhibits and a few new elements:

  • New pieces installed in the Calming Corner
  • Introduction of Sensory Seekers Backpacks, which are specialized kits for neurodiverse children and individuals
  • Updated public restrooms with new fixtures donated by Kohler Co.
  • Additional safety features added including higher spiral staircase railings and slip-resistant spiral stair covers
  • Wall decor of individual hand-painted tiles created by the community decorates the back stairwell.

A celebratory balloon drop, previously planned for the postponed Noon Year’s Eve event, and other special activities and crafts are planned for a grand reopening celebration for Above & Beyond Children’s Museum on Sunday, March 12 from 11am-2pm.

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