Wilton Play Museum on track for 2018 opening

WILTON — The Western Maine Play Museum’s fundraising efforts got a boost from the August Mystery Dinner, which raised $1,200. Guests and hosts at the event included some long-time museum supporters, and welcomed some new museum friends as well, according to a news release from the museum. That effort is added to the $350,000 the museum received from a state facade grant and Northern Border Regional Commission grant.

With these grants, the museum, at 561 Main St., has managed to raise almost its entire $700,000 reconstruction goal and plans a 2018 opening. The museum is working with the town to make sure the specifications of the grants are met, and plans are being made for an opening next year, hopefully by the Wilton Blueberry Festival, Vice President Lori Lewis said. The museum project began four years ago in a house donated by the York family, spurred by now board President Angela McLeod.

The museum will be a place of interactive hands-on learning through play for children from infancy up through around age 8, though older children (and adults) will find much to enjoy there, Lewis said. Local agencies for adults with disabilities have also expressed interest in enjoying the museum.

Rooms and exhibits include a building room, nature room, smart room (featuring interactive technology), play village, and more. There’s even a quiet room, for nursing mothers and others who need a quiet space. All of the exhibits are planned to be rotating; things will change periodically to freshen the exhibits. She said that fund raising will be ongoing.

“Because of extensive and rigorous paperwork involved in our most recent very large grants, progress has slowed in the renovation process to ensure that everything is completed accurately and not endanger the funding,” she said.