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Wonder Works' mission is to spark curiosity and creativity in all young children through positive, play-based learning experiences.
Wonder Works was originally founded by Gale Zemel and a band of faithful volunteers in 1991 as "The Children’s Museum of Oak Park".
The museum lost its lease in 1995 and searched for a home until 2001 when it purchased a building at 6445 W North Avenue in Oak Park. The museum opened in a new building and with a new name on May 4, 2003.
We raised nearly $500,000 to reopen the museum. Significant contributions have come from the Village of Oak Park (through a Community Development Block Grant), The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, The Harris Foundation and McDonald’s as well as a number of individuals and families.
In June 2004, we celebrated our first birth with a fundraiser that generated $25,000 for Wonder Works.
We are extremely proud of our Community Partner's Program that allows the museum to provide field trips and memberships to those who might not otherwise be able to visit Wonder Works (if you would like to sponsor a family or a school group, please call us at 708.383.4815). Currently, we have more than 1,000 members and each month we host an increasing number of birthday parties, field trips, and programs. Wonder Works has been committed to preserving the environment since we opened.