About Us

Mission: to empower children and their families.

Vision: a community in which each and every child develops curiosity, confidence and self-worth.

kids on rails

The Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum (MHDM) is the ideal destination for children and families. With exhibits that focus on early literacy, art, early STEM, health and the local community, the Museum welcomes 80,000 visitors each year and provides an educationally rich environment through which children have the opportunity to develop foundational skills, to engage in purposeful play, and to develop interpersonal connections. MHDM provides early learners impactful and nurturing programs and spaces that help foster imagination, creativity, socialization skills and the ability to understand the world around them.

MHDM is the region’s first and only hands-on science center. The Museum is located in the heart of the historic waterfront in Poughkeepsie, just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North train station, the Walkway Over the Hudson, fabulous restaurants, and two waterfront parks.

In 2022, as a result of a strategic assessment and visioning process, MHDM extended the age range of the children it serves. With the addition of a new science exhibition and richer and more relevant STEM programming, it aims to elevate a child’s ability and appreciation for learning through age 12. As a result, it has been rebranded from the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum to the Mid-Hudson Discovery Center.

MHDM has three areas of programmatic focus that direct its work in exhibits and educational programs: school readiness, health and wellness, and community-building. Its galleries feature a variety of open-ended exhibits that encourage children to practice and develop age-appropriate cognitive, physical and emotional skills.

In 2022, MHDM opened Science Revealed!, a dynamic science gallery that creates meaningful and memorable engagement for families with children up to age 12. The exhibition consists of 17 custom-made, hands-on science exhibits that invite visitors into full-body physical exploration of motion, air, forces, fluids and magnetism. In 2016 MHDM opened two new learning spaces: The Science Center @ MHDM to advance STEM education, and The Children’s Garden @ MHDM to teach families about growing their own food.  The Museum is dedicated to engaging and serving a diverse audience of families from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds and of all abilities and needs through special admission and membership programs.

In 2017, MHDM launched the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market – a public farmers market bringing farm fresh produce to City of Poughkeepsie families, residents and visitors. The Market operates Monday afternoons in the Pavilion at MHDM from 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm, seasonally May through October. In September 2019, MHDM was awarded the international “2019 Leading Edge Award for Business Practice” by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in Toronto, ONT for its creation of the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market.

The Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum and its staff have been recognized with several major awards in the areas of leadership, community impact, and family engagement:

  • 2022 Top STEM Educator Award by Kids Out and About
  • 2022 #2 in “Top 21 Places to Take Kids in the Hudson Valley” in the Kids Out & About Hudson Valley Readers’ Poll
  • 2021 Best STEM Educator Award by Kids Out and About
  • “2019 Leading Edge Award for Business Practice” by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), Washington DC
  • 2019 “Best Museum” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2018 “Best Birthday Parties” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2017 “Best Museum” by Hudson Valley Magazine
  • 2019 and 2018 #1 in “Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Hudson Valley” and 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 “Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum” in the Kids Out & About Hudson Valley Readers’ Poll
  • 2017 “Most Loved Place to Go” in Hulafrog’s Parent Poll
  • 2015 ATHENA Leadership Award by the Chamber Foundation, Inc.
  • 2015 Headliner Award for Leadership in Community and Organization by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • 2015 Family Entertainment Award of Distinction by Dutchess Tourism
  • 2015 Non-Profit Spotlight Award by the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region

The Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational organization that is supported by admission and membership sales, program fees, donations, and grants. MHDM is a member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the Museum Association of New York (MANY) and the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).