The CMA is a private, non-profit corporation founded in 1990 with the mission “Learning by Doing.” The CMA exists to foster a creative environment through “hands-on” exhibits, programs, and outreach, where children and their families explore and make discoveries that demystify everyday experiences, cultures, and human differences. The CMA serves the toddler to ten years old age group, their families, and teachers.
Annually, the CMA serves over 44,591 children and their caregivers from 37 parishes in Central and South Louisiana through both our interactive exhibits and a wide range of programs including educationally based programming. The CMA works collaboratively with over 27 agencies in South Central Louisiana (commonly referred to as “Acadiana”) to promote complimentary missions that benefit children and their families.
As a first museum experience for many children, we want to enhance the lives of those from all socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as to provide an environment which inspires and promotes self-expression and self-esteem while learning respect for others. Central to our philosophy is that a child learns by doing, and the CMA wishes to serve as both a learning resource for families and educators as a development center for exploring new methods of informal education. CMA’s exhibits and programs cover a broad range of subjects which challenge a child’s mental analytical processes, and encourages imagination, curiosity, questioning, and realism.
Children who visit the CMA are delighted with a range of activities that stimulate creativity and provide an opportunity to learn while playing. Children learn about their environment and themselves through the tactile, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic stimulation from each of the different exhibits. A sampling of the many engaging and interactive exhibits available include: a Health Gallery (Vet, Nursery, Eye, and Healthy Foods), Banking, Grocery Store, Bubble Factory, ReUSEum (Recycled Art Projects), TV Station, Restaurant, Wee Acres (Toddler Exclusive), Architecture Alley, Ambulance, and Cypress Gallery rotating exhibit space, in which the “I See A Saurus” interactive dinosaur exhibit is on display as well as various interactive activities throughout the Museum.
In service to Acadiana’s educational community, CMA offers opportunities both inside and outside the confines of the Museum’s walls. “Stuffee,” a large anatomical doll, visits local schools and organizations to teach children about their internal organs. In 2018, the CMA launched “CMA on the Go,” a traveling field trip program that delivers science enrichment to students at their schools. At the Museum, the CMA hosts approximately 5,000 children on field trips each year. The CMA has developed six hands-on educational-based field trip programs for children Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. STEAMology! – the newest field trip – helps students deepen their critical thinking skills and teaches collaboration through a science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) adventure. The CMA also develops educational elements for rotating gallery exhibits as well as numerous programs designed specifically for Scouts. The Boy Scouts can earn several Belt Loops and the Girl Scouts can earn badges by participating in customized workshops held at the CMA.
Throughout the year, the CMA hosts numerous workshops, camps, seasonal paid events, and birthday parties. Summer programming highlights science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts through morning and afternoon workshops. Summer Camps are offered as well. The Museum has two annual fundraising events: New Year’s Noon and Carnival Countdown and Friends of the CMA Festival Parking in which RVs rent space during Festival International every April. The CMA hosts three holiday-programmed themed special event: a “not so haunted” Spooktacular Halloween event and the Twinkle Light Night (TLN) Christmas party, and an Egg-stra Special Easter party.
In addition to the many events hosted on-site at the CMA, through the “CMA Away We Play” Program the CMA does community outreach by sending Museum representatives to 20+ local events and festivals around Acadiana offering children art & craft activities. During fiscal year 2017-18, approximately 2,000 children participated in the CMA’s off-site community outreach offerings.
We had a great time! So many things to do packed into one place. And free parking. :) My 3-yr-old's favorite was pretending to cook in the cafe, my 9-yr-old enjoyed broadcasting at the TV studio best, and I had the most fun at the bubble station. We will be back!
Friendly staff, good price and the kids (ages 3-7) were very entertained for a few hours, which we all know is a difficult task lol!!!
This is a great “hands on” facility for kids of all ages. Even “old” kids like me had fun in the bubble area. Lots of learning stations keep kids entertained while they learn