The amazing Discovery Center Museum is full of over 250 exciting hands-on exhibits spread over a two-floor area. Out in the museum's backyard, visitors can explore Rock River Discovery Park, a giant, multi-level science park with a hands-on twist!
It is connected to the Burpee Museum of Natural History; if you visit both, you get a discount on admission to the Discovery Center.
There is a lunchroom to eat in with vending machines.
We absolutely loved our time at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford!
The Discovery Center Museum has exhibits that would interest children of all ages with subjects ranging from math & science, to agriculture and weather, this museum has age-appropriate lessons for all kids that encourage learning through play. You’d never know from the outside, but the Discovery Center Museum is a huge space spanning 2 levels.
One of our favorite places in the Museum was the Tot Spot, a learn & play space specifically designed for kids under the age of 6. Here we made pizzas, played in the water zone, learned how to work on a car, played with the train table, and so much more.
My son (evidently) loved it so much that he still asks to go to the "zee um" all the time! We'll definitely be back once the weather's nicer to explore their outdoor Rock River Discovery Park. The Rock River Discovery Park is a hands-on, outdoor science center where kids can learn about different subjects like dinosaurs, sound, and just run around and play!
Overall, we loved it so much that we're thinking about purchasing a membership!
It was just a matter of time before we visited this much talked about and awarded Musum.
The Nitty Gritty: We went here on a Friday in May. Admission is $7 each person 1 and over. Since we were part of the ASTC membership we paid nothing. If you're going to the next door Burpee Museum, you receive a $1 off admission. There are no places to buy food, but there is a cafeteria. If you are looking for food, ask the front desk for a list of suggested restaurants around the area. It is very stroller friendly even the outside play area. They have a quiet spot room located upstairs by the water area for nursing. Parking is free and plentiful.
The fun:The main attraction is the Rock River Discovery Park. It is a perfect example of a playground mixed with science.You'll also find a water area, a maze, a Dino dig area where kids can pretend to look for fossils. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the structure was stroller friendly as well. If the weather cooperates, there are quite a few places with picnic tables.
We spent the majority of our time on the second floor in the Tot Spot area where there is a train structure and table, another water area, play house, ball maze, and lots more
I had to pull away my husband away from the Team Up! section where you're able to see how fast you pitch a ball, and can even play virtual reality sports games.
Son's favorite moment: Playing on the train structure and playing with the water outside
Parent's favorite moment: Testing the speed of our pitch and the outdoor science center
Bottom Line: Would definitely come here again especially if there was an event going on. I would like to check out the Bubble Festival in March.
Tip: You can take a "tunnel" to the adjacent Burpee Museum. It's free as well if you have the ASTC Membership.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of interactive displays for the children. There were so many learning concepts from sound to nutrition/ health to astronomy. There is also an outdoor climbing area open when the weather is warm, which it was not when we visited. Our favorite part of the museum was the small planetarium. It was worth the extra admission.
We visited the Discovery Center with my friends children and they all had a blast. The cost to get in was very reasonable for a day full of educational experiences for only $7.00 and under 2 were free. They are open M-S 10am-5pm and Sundays Noon to 5. The kids got to explore the outdoors science park, use a virtual snowboard and measure the speed and pitch of their ride, the agriculture exhibit that let them climb on a real tractor, milk cows, gather eggs, explore how light effects colors, explore shock, static, polarization, gravity, an art studio where they actually got to make art to take home and many more educational exhibits. The kids did not want to leave when it was time to go since they were having so much fun but we spent from 11am to 5pm which was closing time and we had to go. We plan on visiting yearly since it was such as educational affordable adventure for all the kids which ranged from 12 to less than a year old. I would recommend visiting the discovery world if you are interested in a fun educational experience for a affordable price that allows the kids to think outside of the box.
My husband grew up going to the Discovery Center and now his parents bring our kids. They love visiting grandma and grandpa and going to the museum with them. It's a great learning opportunity as well as an entertaining time. Like any museum for kids, it can be overwhelming for the little ones, so we like to do things in sections or themes. One day we'll focus on one area and the next time we go, we focus on others, visiting the kids' favorites each time.
I used to go to the Discovery Center when I was a kid...now I can take my kids. We love the interactive exhibits! Be sure to stop by the Planetarium Show (costs $1) at least once. It is so cool. My son loves to go with his grandparents. The Discovery Center is fun for all ages!
Started visiting this museum in December 2009 while it was undergoing major renovation. It was lots of fun and not super crowded then. This past summer (June, 2010) it opened its expansion, adding a new Tot Spot area for preschoolers, a Baby Spot for babies 18 months and younger, and a new exhibit on agriculture. My kids love the huge tractor, the combine and watching the grain moving. It's fantastic. During the warm weather we spend lots of time outside in the enormous and great outdoor 2- story wooden park with swings, slides, sand area where kids can dig dinosaur fossils, and our favorite... the water area. It is snot intended for kids to be submerged or even to get soaked but I have a couple that LWAYS require a change of clothes to go home in. Loads of fun every time. It doesn't get old for us. My kids are 6,5,5,3,3,and 2.
My kids LOVE this place! Fun activities, non-breakable displays - this place is great! Huge water table for little ones to get hands on - touch and feel displays of weights and measures. Be sure to ride the awesome freight elevator while you are there!
The Discovery Center is one of the most awesome places you can take your child. There is unlimited possibility for learning and for fun. There are exhibits for all ages and even a tot spot if you have little ones. We like to go as often as we can!!
It took us almost 2 hours to get to this museum from Chicago but it was well worth it. My kids, ages 3 and 5, loved this museum, and we stayed until the lights went off and we were almost being shooed out. Their favorite things:
- the grain mover, where they used pulleys, conveyor belts and levers to move grain.
- the simulated tornado that they could push around with their hands and see how the movement was affected.
- the magnetic gears that could be moved around and repositioned with the goal of moving the "windmill" at the top.
- the staircase, which has an alternate option for kids: many levels, with holes, so the kids can climb up and down. Don't worry they can't fall.
Being used to Chicago museums, as a parent I loved that parking was FREE and ticket prices were reasonable.
They also have a lunch room, so we brought our own lunch and took lunch and snack breaks without having to leave the museum.
It was chilly the day we went so the kids didn't get to play in the science park outdoors, but it looked fantastic! We'll have to go back in the spring.
We went here when we were on vacation when my son was four and it provided a full afternoon of fun. I've been to a lot of discovery type museums and this is one of the best.
They had an elaborate outside exhibit with ramps and water and weather related lessons. There was a sand box where you could discover dinosaur fossils with brushes. The inside had a lot of standard science museum things but the layout was very open so it didn't feel crowded.
There was a play area with a Thomas the Tank engine table which helped our friends two year old stay entertained. They had a lot of exhibits on aerodynamics.
Really there's too much to describe, I would recommend going--it's worth the price of admission.
We tried this children's museum when it was still snowing and cold outside. My 3 year old absolutely loved it! 2 floors of hands out things to touch, see and play. The outdoor area looked great though we didn't get to try it. It is a small place so expect to spend a couple hours, but she didn't care that it wasn't as big as some of the other museums.
It is a great place for all ages. My kids love it. My only complaint is right now it is under construction so only about half of it is open. This spring when it all opens it will be an excellent place to take your children. Only other complaint is pack a lunch there is no where nearby to eat.
Science is the emphasis at the family-oriented Discovery Center Museum in Riverfront Museum Park. Among the things you can do: make your hair stand on end with an electrostatic generator, walk through an “infinity tunnel,” or manipulate an assortment
of levers, pulleys, and gears.
A planetarium will let you explore the stars, and the Body Shop has displays and demonstrations on the workings of the human body.
Children age 5 or younger can play in the Tot Spot, which has a variety of sturdy plastic toys and a water area.
A unique feature of the Discovery Center Museum is the outdoor science park, a two-story wooden maze that looks like a playground but sneaks in entertainingly educational exhibits about weather, water, sound, and caves.
This was a quick detour for us as we were on a roadtrip somewhere else, but now that we've discovered it, it will become a destination. This place is awesome!
- Lots of open space, so it doesn't feel like you'll lose your kid even when it's crowded
- Lots of stuff for little kids (we have a 2.5 year old) to touch and play: UPS plane and package processing, a nice water area that's the appropriate size, a huge crane where kids can move stuff from one area to another, a train table, a kitchen, etc.
- Lots of stuff that kept us as parents interested, like a virtual reality area, an area to measure how fast you can pitch, a machine to test your reaction time, a place to put yourself in a bubble, etc.
- A tremendous outdoor area that has a lot of cool exhibits and doubles as a great place to run around and burn off some steam.
We plan on going back the next time we're in the Chicago area. In fact, on our way back from our roadtrip, we stopped by a second time. Too bad it's a bit far from Chicago.
We have only been to this museum once but plan to get out there again soon. There is a really cool large outdoor playground adventure (Rock River Discovery Park) but the day we went it was way too hot to enjoy it.
The upper level has lots of science exploration, including body works, electricity and magnets, and a robotics lab. Downstairs has more science, such as the planetarium, light and color, and more!
This museum also has a popular TV Studio upstairs. The kids LOVE that! The Air and Flight exhibit is awesome: Kids can simulate flight, play with air and fly a mini plane in a tube.