Kidspace was founded in 1979 by members of the Caltech community and Junior League of Pasadena as a space for families to engage with tactile, interdisciplinary experiences that bridge the arts, humanities, and sciences. The museum launched at Caltech with a pilot exhibit called “Making Senses” before graduating to Rosemont Pavilion with additional elements provided by ArtCenter and JPL. From 1981–2002, Kidspace found a home at McKinley School. The location was only 13,500 square feet, but packed with innovative exhibits and programs that helped form the building blocks of lifelong learning.
Several Years Later
Several years and millions of guests later, Kidspace embarked on a new adventure, expanding in 2004 to our current Brookside Park location, in the Fannie E. Morrison Horticultural Center, right in the heart of the Arroyo Seco. This beautiful new campus included a significantly larger facility with existing greenhouse structures full of light and air and a pergola wrapped in 150-year-old wisteria vines, where the museum could create outdoor and natural learning environments unlike any other children’s museum.
Today, Kidspace features exhibits, programs, and outdoor play opportunities that inspire kid-driven learning and shared family experiences. The museum has continued to grow with the opening of Galvin Physics Forest in 2012, the Imagination Workshop and renovation of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Early Childhood Learning Center in 2014, and the addition of the Arroyo Adventure in 2016.
Since its early beginnings, Kidspace has invited more than 5 million visitors to come play with us, and we are proud to count more than 6,000 members as part of our family.