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SARATOGA SPRINGS: A museum of amusements

Terwilliger said it is not only the children that socialize in the museum. It's a great place for parents to network and meet with other parents, she said.

"We have a lot of parents, mostly mothers, who have met at the museum and have gone on either to meet outside of here or meet at the museum on a regular basis," she said.

Jonathan Vogtner was vacationing in Lake George when he and his two children, Juliette, 3, and Dante, 6, came to the Children's Museum at Saratoga. He learned of the museum when he renewed his membership for the children's museum in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We saw that they had a reciprocal membership program with the Saratoga Children's Museum, so we decided to stop in during our vacation," said Vogtner.

He said in between visiting family with his wife, Karen, and spending time at the Saratoga Race Course, "the children's museum is a great place for the kids to come and play and really have fun with something that is really geared toward them."

The Children's Museum at Saratoga was founded by community parents and educators. The museum occupied donated space in the Downstreet Marketplace building on Broadway in Saratoga Springs before renting space at 36 Phila St. in the fall of 1994. In November 2001, the museum moved from the Phila Street location to 69 Caroline St. To pay for all the new exhibits and renovations at Caroline Street, the board launched a multi-year capital campaign, raising more than $500,000.

The Children's Musem at Saratoga is committed to fostering active parent involvement in children's learning, to serving as a resource for school districts in the area, and to ensuring that its programs and services are accessible to all children.

The museum is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sundays in winter from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, children under 1 are free. Terwilliger says families should plan to spend about two hours in the museum to see every exhibit.

For information on the museum, to see its educational programs or special events calendars, or to plan a birthday party at the museum, call 584-5540 or visit www.childrensmuseumatsaratoga.org.""

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