The Junior League of Billings (JLB), women building better communities, and its Community Council is preparing a “museum without walls” to take place during its fundraiser this weekend, MarketPlace Magic. This shopping extravaganza, in its 18th year, will host for the second year its children’s area with interactive exhibits such as a dinosaur dig, a craft area, a stage with dress-up, a science area, and a grocery store. The JLB adopted a new project, to start-up a children’s museum and has become a member of the Association of Children’s Museums. The League has begun to partner with local sponsors for interactive exhibits and overall corporate sponsors for the museum. Please come to the Expo at the Metra this weekend for MarketPlace Magic. The “museum without walls” will be open Saturday 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm. Cost of admission $3 for adults and children are free to enter MarketPlace Magic, and donations are requested for the children’s area. League members will be there to assist families in the different interactive areas. The grocery store was transported from Boise to Billings by Albertson’s thanks to efforts by local store manager, Dan Sloan. Saturday there will be a couple of scheduled events: The Dino Lab will be presenting at 1:00 pm on Saturday and Zoo Montana will be presenting an animal enrichment at 2:00 pm.
A children’s museum benefits the entire community; it serves as a destination for families to bond. Children’s museums are viewed as a town center where children and their caregivers can play and learn together in a non-commercial setting. Children’s museums provide an opportunity for programming in the areas of children’s activities and parenting resources. Bozeman, Great Falls, Glasgow, and Missoula all have children’s museums while Helena is home to a children’s science museum. There are approximately 240 children’s museums found across the country.
The League will be selling t-shirts, tote bags, and temporary tattoos in support of Wise Wonders, the name of the “museum without walls.” Please shop the Mart at MarketPlace Magic this weekend to support the Junior League of Billings and its community project.