Children’s Museum celebrates millionth visitor

A trip to the Children’s Museum of La Crosse is always exciting for kids, but today one family was met with a surprise that made their visit extra special.

The museum has been making education fun for kids since they opened their doors in 1999. Tuesday morning they celebrated an important milestone –- their one millionth visitor – who is a family who had no idea what they were in for when the stepped into the museum.

“We wanted to do one last fun thing before school started,” said Viroqua resident Amanda Weaver said.

The children’s museum is full of excitement no matter what, but the Weaver family’s visit started out with a bang.

“Confetti popped everywhere!” said Amanda’s daughter Belle.

The guest meter has been counting up since the museum opened, and rolled over to a million with sisters Belle and Lilly, their mom and little brother Everett.

Belle expects it’s taken a while to get to that magic number.

“A lot of days .. Maybe years!” she said.

Though it may have felt like days, it’s been 17 years since the museum opened.

“It feels like it went by so fast,” said museum marketing director Leanne Poellinger. “We didn’t even think about the millionth visitor in the beginning obviously but it’s very gratifying to see it happen, so quickly really.”

To celebrate, the Weaver family got some special prizes.

“They gave us a million dollars,” said Belle.

Not exactly a million dollars, but close, in the mind of a kid. The family got a million minute membership, which means for the next two years they can come back for free.

The kids say they’d like to come back every day, but they’ll have to take that up with mom.

“If we get a reception like this every time we come in the door,” Amanda said.

Along with the million minute membership, the family also got a gift certificate and a free after hours party where they’ll have the museum to themselves and friends.

Museum staff says they want to make the experience just as fun for the next million as it was for the first million, so they have some new plans in the works.