top of page
The Beginning

The concept of KidSenses Children’s INTERACTIVE Museum began as one person’s dream, which, when shared with other creative minds in a very special community, grew and grew into a reality that has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Located in the heart of downtown Rutherfordton, NC, our building was originally constructed in 1927 and has been home to a car dealership and later a “Five and Dime” store before being refurbished as a completely hands-on environment. Since opening in 2004, KidSenses has welcomed over 500,000 visitors to our 11,000 square-foot space, which features 14 different interactive exhibit areas, curriculum-based workshops for field trip groups, a 7,500 square foot Children’s Garden (open seasonally), and unique opportunities to stimulate the imagination and educate the mind.

The Expansion

As a destination experience, KidSenses brings visitors and revenue into our community. As an important educational resource, KidSenses provides exciting opportunities for our children to learn about themselves and the world around them – a world they will someday inherit. We want to ensure that, as our children age, they stay curious. Our goal is to help them acquire the insights, skills and knowledge to succeed in the future they will help create. Our current visitor profile consists primarily of families with children, from infants to age ten. We are planning an expansion to reach youth in their tweens and teens – age eleven and up. This is a very different age group which requires a different kind of museum facility to engage them. Our new 5,000 square foot addition will be called The Factory, a place to meet and make!

The Factory will be a special place where youth can meet friends, ask questions, share ideas, make things, and pursue their passions. What they make and do will not only reflect their own personal interests, but will also provide connections to future aspirations. Increasingly, jobs in our region are going to reflect a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based economy. The Factory will provide our children the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to succeed in this future work environment.

Help Support Our Growth

Help us ensure that this important educational resource continues to be the number one family destination in western North Carolina for exciting hands-on learning for generations to come! Please make a gift to help build THE FACTORY. Thousands of children will thank you!

Doug Barrick

Rutherfordton Town Manager


"The Town of Rutherfordton has been an active supporter of the museum and has recently donated $50,000 towards the capital campaign to further advance the size and scope of programs offered at KidsSenses"

view quote

Rosemary Smith

Science Curriculum Specialist


"KidSenses will expand to create The Factory in a new and separate space that will ages 11 and up. These STEM activities will serve to make a connection between the activities and concepts the learn, with the job skills and knowledge they can use in the workplace."

view quote

bottom of page