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New Children’s Museum Opens at Former Wausau Center Mall

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 -- 10:01 AM

(Jonah Beleckis, Wisconsin Public Radio) A new children’s museum at the site of the former Wausau Center mall is hoping to offer more than an opportunity for kids to expand their understanding of science, technology, engineering and math.

According to Jonah Beleckis with the Wisconsin Public Radio, the museum will bring families to Wausau’s downtown and boost tourism efforts by offering another stop for visitors in central Wisconsin, Children’s Imaginarium Executive Director Julie Bollmann said recently on WPR’s “The Morning Show.”

“The revitalization effort here in downtown is so exciting,” she said. “If you could see out our beautiful glass windows, you would see that there’s tons of opportunity.” The downtown area is exciting and inviting, Bollmann said while pointing out various places to get lunch, dessert or drinks. “Lots of buzz and excitement down here,” she said.

The Wausau Center mall closed in 2021. The city wrestled over what to do with all that space, a problem familiar to many other cities across the state and country with shuttered malls.

The new children’s museum opened in December, becoming one of the first entities to join the former mall’s space after the mall’s demolition. Museum co-founder Maggie Gordon said building in that space helped the museum avoid higher overhead costs.

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