SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A children’s museum in Sioux City is currently celebrating its 5th “birthday” throughout February.

The LaunchPAD Children’s Museum has been open since 2016, marking this year their fifth year of operation in Siouxland.

“We’ve seen numbers that have been crazy, even in COVID times. We’ve been grateful to see those numbers, but the reception of having the children’s museum in Sioux City has been extremely amazing. We’re grateful for all of the kids that have come through,” said Carrie Lebowich, LaunchPAD Children’s Museum.

Carrie Lebowich has been a part of the LaunchPAD Children’s Museum for five years, starting out as a volunteer to becoming the executive director.

In the last five years, LaunchPAD has opened its doors to more than 300,000 people, inviting them to come play and discover the museum.

“I think that the museum has helped to drive some tourism. Bring people from out of town that may not have normally come to Sioux City and feel to explore all of the amazing things that we have to offer in downtown Sioux City,” said Lebowich.

The children’s museum has helped serve kids in Siouxland by providing a safe place not only for playing but also for developing their social skills.

“Kids coming in at 1,2,3,4, this is when they’re starting to realize what the world is. So, them coming in here and having the hands-on interactive play with people who are important to them will help them be able to use that once they get older in different realms of their lives,” said Tori Anderson, LaunchPAD Children’s Museum.

Tori Anderson has been the education manager at the museum for almost two years and said it’s extremely important to help kids in their early stages of childhood.

“The museum is definitely something that I wanted when I was little. So, I wish that this was something that was around when we were younger because I know that it would’ve helped me grow as much as we want to help the community grow,” said Anderson.

Lebowich mentions in the next five years, LaunchPAD plans to continue growing by adding new exhibits.

“We want to enhance what we already got and create some new programming that will hopefully encourage some of these kids that may be starting to age out of the museum. We’re going to try and bring them back in and get them involved in different ways as well,” said Carrie Lebowich, LaunchPAD Children’s Museum.