Robert Kohaus and his three daughters got quite a surprise when they walked into the Children’s Discovery Museum on Wednesday morning.
The Bloomington family was greeted with a prize pack, certificate, free ice cream, and 650 dropping balloons—their reward for being the museum’s two-millionth visitor.
“I never win anything, literally,” Kohaus laughed. “So this is like very unexpected. You don’t expect to walk in and be the two-millionth person.”
Staff at the Uptown Normal has been crunching the numbers, trying to project when Lucky Number 2,000,000 would walk in. (That’s 2,000,000 just since the Uptown location opened in 2004.)
The Kohaus family—mom and an older brother weren’t there—were the lucky ones.
“Milestones are excuses to celebrate, to look back, to look forward, and to acknowledge this pretty cool thing that the Town of Normal did when they recruited the Children’s Discovery Museum to come to then-Downtown,” said Beth Whisman, executive director for the town’s Cultural Arts Department and the Children’s Discovery Museum.
The museum drives foot traffic in Uptown Normal, she said, and that has an economic benefit.
“These families who are coming into the heart of our community and visiting, they’re not only getting entertained and a little education, but also fed. Maybe they’re buying gas. They’re doing what visitors do.”
The Children’s Discovery Museum will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September.
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