Wonderscope’s history is both fascinating and unique. Like each chapter of a book contributes to the plot of its story, each year has contributed to Wonderscope’s story.
In 1988, the Johnson County (Kan.) Commissioners established a task force to study programs and activities available for children and their families in the local community. The study concluded that there was a shortage of hands-on, interactive programs of interest to entire families.
As a response to that unmet community need, Wonderscope Children’s Museum was founded in 1989 and began serving the community as a traveling exhibit. At the same time, the Kansas Children’s Museum was established by Marty Porter and housed at the Kansas State School for the Visually Handicapped. It moved to Indian Springs Shopping Center in 1990.
In 1998, Wonderscope moved when Vic Regnier, owner of Vic Regnier Builders, purchased the former Flint Elementary School at 5700 King St., Shawnee, Kan.
In 2004, Wonderscope merged with Beyond the Book, a grassroots mobile children’s museum focusing on literacy. Wonderscope, Inc., and the Children’s Museum of Kansas City (formerly the Kansas Children’s Museum) merged in 2008 forming Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City.
In October 2020, Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City became The Regnier Family Wonderscope Museum of Kansas City, and constructed a new facility at 433 E Red Bridge Road in Kansas City, Missouri.