The new year will be a big one for the Reading Public Museum.
The museum will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it will be celebrating in a big way, based on its success in 2012.
"We'll see more than 100,000 visitors in 2012, which is a dramatic increase from what we saw in 2011," said John Graydon Smith, the museum's director and CEO. "And we think that's a testament to some of the shows that we've been bringing in."
Throughout 2012, museum visitors have been able to feast their eyes on a world made of toothpicks, the prehistoric times of dinosaurs and the eye-popping colors of artist Andy Warhol.
The museum staff has increased its marketing strategies and taken steps to make the museum more family friendly, and the response, Smith said, has been overwhelmingly positive.
"People want to support something in their community, something locally. We've also seen a huge influx of people from Lancaster, Philadelphia, Allentown," said Smith.
Starting January 2, 2013, the Reading Public Museum will expand its hours and be open seven days a week.
"This is really our thank you to them and say, 'You can come see your museum seven days a week,' and we're pretty confident that they will," said Smith.
Many new exciting exhibits are headed to the Reading Public Museum, including LEGO Castle Adventure, art work of Norman Rockwell and the museum's centennial celebrations, which will be showcasing exhibits of artwork from Berks County.
"This is a place for families, and when families come, they don't come one or two. They come five and six and seven in a carload," said Smith.