Welcome to Explore & More!
play into possibilities
Overview of the museum
It’s a new day for play in Western New York as the Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum opens at Canalside this spring. The all-new 43,000 square foot world-class children’s museum takes play seriously, with four floors of fun to explore with hands-on interactives that encourage children aged 0-12 to learn through play. The Museum features seven educational play zones that offer hands-on exhibits that tell the unique story of Buffalo and what makes us proud to be from Western New York. The Museum’s zones reveal stories of our region’s history, geography, culture, agriculture, architecture, athletics, commerce and innovation through exhibits that celebrate the power and benefits of play.
Built on the historic footprint of the Prime Slip where natural and human forces shaped our waterfront and innovation shaped our city, Explore & More sits at the crossroads between canals and bridges that have become year-round community destinations on the city’s waterfront. The Museum is the perfect place to learn about the region’s past roots as an innovative port at the turn of the century and its critical role in America’s expansion west, while using hands-on play to spark the imagination and unlock the unlimited potential of our next generation of great minds.
Transformative Power of Play
It’s much more than just child’s play. Explore & More offers child-led play and exploration, with children determining what interests them to explore further. Children learn through play, learning more about themselves, about others and providing a deeper understanding of their world. Play helps develop the whole child – socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. As natural explorers, children ask questions, gather information, build things, take things apart, and challenging themselves as they learn.
Explore & More was designed to be hands-on and family friendly, engaging parents and caregivers through play to help create the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships that children need to thrive. In playing together, parents can see strengths and affinities in their child that may have gone unnoticed, while children deepen their understanding of day-to-day life through immersive play. The Museum was purposefully designed to serve as a community crossroads where families from diverse backgrounds can come together to discover new interests, practice abilities, share traditions, new perspectives, make new friends and connect with their children while expanding their horizons.