EVERETT — The Imagine Children’s Museum greeted its millionth visitor on Tuesday.
Museum workers had been waiting eagerly for the milestone for a couple of weeks, spokeswoman Shawndra Johnson said.
When the attendance mark finally hit 1 million on Tuesday, museum workers surprised Briana and Casey Zachary of Seattle and their kids, 2-year-old Grace and baby Isaiah, with gifts and a round of applause.
“I haven’t been this shocked since my wife said she’d marry me,” Casey Zachary said.
This was the family’s fourth visit to the museum.
The unique, award-winning interactive museum opened its doors at Wall Street and Hoyt Avenue in October 2004 and has seen a jump in attendance every year, Johnson said.
Last year, the museum had more than 208,000 visitors.
It’s been a long journey. The museum first began operating out of a storefront in Marysville in the 1990s, Johnson said. At one point, it didn’t even have a permanent home.
Now, kids of all ages love to play on the rooftop playground, in the “glow room” outfitted with black lights and with various other hands-on displays. The attractions are designed around different aspects of life in Snohomish County, Johnson said. There is a theater stage, a kid-sized airplane with cockpit controls, a bus.
The bus — well, the front part of one — was donated by Everett Transit a few years ago after the back part was damaged in an accident.
Every child can find a special place to play. For 2-year-old Carson Waterman of Bothell, it’s the water room. His grandparents, who were visiting from out of state, stood by on Tuesday afternoon as Carson watched the water mill and splashed about with toy boats.
“It’s a great place,” grandma Carol Wever said.