SANTA FE (KRQE) - A very popular place for kids and their parents might have to close if it can't come up with a lot of cash and soon.
The Santa Fe Children's Museum has been mentoring families through hands-on learning for nearly 30 years, but now it's in big financial trouble.
"People from all over the world come here," said Stephen Jackson, whose family is visiting Santa Fe from Texas and comes to the museum every summer. "You get to meet people from Argentina one day and Spain the next day, and they (his children) get to play with all those kids."
His 8-month-old daughter likes to play at the bubble station, his 2-year-old son likes the sand station and his 4-year-old likes the bug display and art stations.
"Because it's got these costumes and these paint things, and then they finally had these masks," exclaimed young Noelle Jackson.
She said she is already looking forward to coming back next summer, but that might not happen if the nonprofit that runs the museum can't raise $200,000 by December.
"We need all kinds of support," said Julie DeFeo, the museum's director of marketing and community relations. "We need donations. We're not just asking the community, we're also going around to corporations and grants and other places as well."
DeFeo said the museum serves more than 80,000 people annually and has raised more money through admissions, rentals and gift shop sales than ever before. Private donations, though, are down 60 percent over the last two years.
DeFeo explained the economy is to blame, so now the museum is looking for money and ideas to keep this from happening again.
"We're being humble and saying we don't know everything," DeFeo said. "We can't do this by ourselves in a vacuum. We need input."
She is asking businesses to help them come up with creative was to be more self-sufficient.
Museum officials have asked Santa Fe Mayor David Coss if the city can help or maybe even take it over, but they are still looking into that option.
More information on fundraisers and how you can is posted on the museum website and its Facebook page .help click on their website or facebook page.
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