NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will suspend public operations until further notice. All events and programs are canceled during this time. Please check our website and social media for updates.
The Children’s Museum & Science Center features a Live Animal Gallery, Cummins Planetarium, traveling exhibits, interactive permanent exhibits, and more!
Founded in 1952, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum (RMCM) was one of our nation’s first children’s museums. Rocky Mount’s Jaycees and Junior Guild initiated the preliminary museum concept and plan. Each group raised and donated the initial funds to get the new museum on its way. Mae Woods Bell was hired as the museum’s founding Director and the museum was given space to operate in the basement of the old Braswell Library.
On Easter Sunday, 1954, the RMCM opened its doors to the public at its new permanent home in beautiful Sunset Park. Since that time the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center (now a Division of the City of Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department) continued to grow and develop. In 1967, approximately 3,000 additional square feet were added to the museum. This addition was designed primarily as new exhibit space with a small area being allocated for administrative areas.
Then, on a single day in September of 1999, the Museum was destroyed when the flood following Hurricane Floyd inundated 25% of Rocky Mount. Along with the Arts Center, the Museum was moved to a temporary site in downtown Rocky Mount.
The expanded Children’s Museum and Science Center is now located in the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. Each of the Museum’s exhibits and displays offers visitors creative opportunities for learning about the world we share by challenging their minds and encouraging critical thinking in an interactive learning environment. All of the museum’s exhibits are both educational and fun. The educational programs and interactive exhibits are resources that encourage visits from school groups, families, tourists, social groups, and community organizations.