THIBODAUX, LA (WAFB) - A new museum in Thibodaux hopes to attract more visitors besides local people. The Bayou Country Children's Museum, which opened about a year ago, is geared toward elementary age school children.
The nine-exhibit museum is a hands-on learning experience, that teaches children about the Cajun way of life in Louisiana from the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Aboard the oil derrick, they learn how the oil industry helps make tennis shoes, basketballs and makeup.
"It's a good place for them to come, have fun and learn all at the same time," said Janna Ockman, who has visited the museum twice with her son.
When BCCM opened, they intended to serve an eight parish area. The majority of their visitors are local, while some are from out of state.
"We expected 45,000 visitors in our first year. We hit that goal. The problem with children's museums and non-profits is the admissions alone don't pay for all the operating expenses," said the museum's executive director Christy Naquin.
In addition to fundraisers and grants, the director said they plan to offer summer camps and after-school programs to bring in more funding. But they would also like to see more people through the doors.
Ockman said having something close keeps her from traveling so much.
"We're taking them to the zoo in New Orleans and Baton Rouge," said Ockman.
She is hoping outsiders will support this museum, especially since there's really no other place like it where kids can learn about sugarcane on a full-size harvester, Louisiana music and go through a hurricane simulation.
"It brings them back to their culture and where they're from," said Ockman. "This area needed something like this."
For more information on the Bayou Country Children's Museum, visit their website at http://www.bccm.info/