Educating children in a world of discovery, curiosity and imagination through hands-on play.
HistorY & Mission
In the fall of 2006, a group of moms decided to explore the possibility of creating a hands-on, interactive children's museum for Lancaster, Ohio. After research, meetings, and assessment of community interest, the group decided to go forward with their idea of opening a museum. In January of 2007, AHA! A Hands-on Adventure, A Children's Museum, joined the Association of Children's Museums as an Emerging Member. In March of 2007, the museum received 501(c) (3) non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service and fundraising efforts began in April of 2007.
A site for the museum at 315 S. Broad Street was selected and the museum opened to the public on March 2, 2008. A capital campaign began in the fall of 2014 to build a new facility on donated land near the River Valley Mall. The new building at 1708 River Valley Circle South opened in April of 2018.
The sole mission of AHA! is to surround children and the adults in their lives with a hands-on, interactive, playful and educational environment that invites curiosity, allows exploration, encourages participation and celebrates the child-like wonder in us all.
The adults in a child's life are his/her first and most important teachers and playmates. Parents and caregivers have the uniquely important role of introducing children to all of the magical discoveries our world has to offer. Please use your visit as an opportunity to engage and interact with the children, talk to them about what they are experiencing and teach them how to act as responsible young citizens.
AHA! is designed for children ages 6 months to 8 years, but children of all ages are welcome. Adults bringing older children into the museum are asked to please monitor their behavior. Older children need your attention just like the little ones, guaranteeing guests of all ages have an equally wonderful adventure at AHA!
Board of Directors
Ben Swain, Past President
Jennifer Sitterley, President
Jennifer Miller, Treasurer
Michele Ritchlin, Secretary
Jared Michini-Kerr, Executive Director
Elise Probasco, Programming and Outreach Director
Kaylynn McGee, Facilities Assistant
Alayna McClung, Support Staff
Kylee Guinan, Support Staff
Roto Studio is a full-service design and production firm specializing in first-hand experiences for museums and entertainment venues. With an award-winning design team and their own in-house exhibit engineering group, Roto Sudio's work includes interactive gadgets, immersive themed environments, content-rich interpretive exhibits, and dramatic story-driven attractions. With more than 15 years of proven excellence, Roto Studio delivers visitors to AHA! a world class experience.
Creative Cabinets, a local Lancaster company, specializes in the fabrication of children's museums nationwide. Creative is enthusiastic about having their hand crafted exhibits stay in Fairfield County where local children and visitors can enjoy them. They have collaborated with Roto Studio on numerous exhibit projects in the past, installed throughout the US and Canada.