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Children's Museum Seeks Space at Rye Playland

The Westchester Children’s Museum isn’t a physical place yet, but rather the vision of a group of people who see the historic bathhouses along the Boardwalk at Rye Playland as the ideal location for a future museum.

“We want to create an educational and cultural anchor for the kids,” said Corinne Zola, president of the museum’s board of directors.

The museum is requesting a 10-year lease at county-owned Playland’s North Bathhouse, which the county legislature is expected to hold a public hearing about on June 20. The hearing comes in the midst of County Executive Rob Astorino’s plans to redevelop Playland.

Astorino is currently reviewing several proposals for the amusement park’s redevelopment, some of which do not include leasing property for the museum.

The museum has launched a letter-writing campaign encouraging supporters to pressure their legislators to vote yes for the museum at the public hearing.

Zola has said the museum is "shovel-ready" and could open within 18 months of signing the lease.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $15 million, $8 million of which has already been raised through private funding. The museum intends to initiate a fundraising campaign for the remaining $7 million once it has secured a location.

While the museum doesn’t have a building, it has brought educational programs to local community organizations throughout the county and held annual events such as Explore-a-thon, where children can participate in outdoor interactive exhibits.

Rye resident Steve Miller brought his two sons to Explore-a-thon at Rye Town Park Sunday and said he supports the museum project.

“They’re just awesome for the community,” said Miller. “It’s why we live in Rye.”

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