The Power of Play at Providence Children’s Museum

Send off 2023 with a visit to Rhode Island’s fun and educational mainstay for young children


Play opens doors for learning at Providence Children’s Museum (PCM), where, for the past 45 years, young patrons have been making, splashing, tinkering, and having “aha” moments through interactive exhibits and experiences. “No other organization reaches as many children in Rhode Island,” says Victoria Picinich, director of development and external relations at PCM, citing pre-COVID admissions of almost 200,000.

Whether visiting for the first time or rediscovering the family-fun mainstay, winter is a great time to engage in the power of play at PCM, keeping the mental gears turning during school vacations for kids 10 and younger. “As the first stop on the ‘learning pathway’ for many children, PCM's exhibits and programming have the unique opportunity to establish foundational learning skills in young children,” Picinich explains. This is why the museum prioritizes accessibility and facilitates a sense of belonging for diverse audiences and families speaking English as a second language, regardless of financial circumstances. 

“While it’s widely agreed that STEM and maker experiences introduce children to the 21st century skills of exploration, experimentation, and creative problem solving, access to these opportunities is rarely offered to young children or without cost,” Picinich emphasizes. Fun is at the core of colorful puzzles, waterway investigations, and using tools to turn stuff of imagination into reality – and so is science. “At PCM, children use play as a learning tool, building an understanding of abstract concepts, while building empathy for the individual experience – this is critical to their individual development and educational preparedness.” 

PCM is also home to the state’s earliest send off of 2023: Noon Year’s Eve unfolds December 31 from 9am-12pm with a photo booth, dance party, arts and crafts, and musical performances. “The event will end with a parade through the museum to our Children's Garden where PCM will do a countdown and drop a ball at noon,” shares Picinich. “PCM has the cutest patrons around!”

To accommodate school vacations, PCM will be open Tuesday, December 26 through Saturday, December 30 for play hours 9:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-4:30pm. Plan your visit and learn more by visiting ProvidenceChildrensMuseum.org.

Providence Children’s Museum

100 South Street, Providence



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