A Vision Still Unfolding
Habitot opened in 1998 after six years of community presentations and fundraising, including three years as a 'museum without walls' touring parks, festivals and fairs with its Waterworks exhibit to build support for a children’s museum in the East Bay. Over 10,000 people saw the exhibit during this time, many asking, “where can we find more exhibits like this?” About Habitot's Founder
Years of Growth and Expansion
Habitot started with 4,000-sq. ft and has expanded twice to its current 7,000-sq. ft. space, centrally located in a downtown office/hotel/retail complex. Relocating Habitot to a larger and more accessible facility has long been a strategic vision to deal with seasonal crowding and a need for greater amenities for families. See timeline. See all awards.
Habitot attracts 65,000 visitors each year from all walks of life. With a commitment to serving a broad audience, Habitot’s visitors are socio-economically and racially diverse: forty-nine percent (49%) of the visitors are multiracial or persons of color. The average ethnic breakdown according to front desk tallies is 51% Caucasian, 11% Asian/Pacific Islander, 9% Latino, 7% African American, and 22% Multiethnic.
Serving a Wide and Diverse Audience
Habitot serves a large caregiver population as well as preschool teachers who visit on field trips or who participate in preschool teacher training programs. 37% of Habitot’s visitors resides in Berkeley; 25% comes from Oakland; 9% from other Alameda County towns; 5% from nearby Richmond in Contra Costa County; and 14% from other counties throughout the Bay Area. The average age of a child visiting is 2.5 years and adults range in age from teen parents to grandparents.
In 2011 and in 2010, Habitot was recognized as a “Top-Rated Great Nonprofit” by Great Nonprofits, affiliated with Guidestar, the online clearinghouse for the nation’s nonprofits. Also in 2011, Habitot was recognized by Parent’s Press’ as a “Best of the East Bay” destination for families; in 2009 Habitot was named “Best of the Gay Bay;” and in 2008 Habitot was named the Parent’s Pick Winner for the Best Museum for Little Kids in the San Francisco Bay Area at Nickelodeon’s.
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