6/15/09 - Museum of Discovery

On Sunday, Cristi did not have to work, and I had no yards to mow. Since this rarely happens, we have agreed that on weekend days that neither of us work, we will start doing some sort of outing with Makenna. It just so happens that the 2nd Sunday of every month, the Museum of Discovery provides free admission. From 1-5 you can come and go as you please and do whatever you want at no cost to you. This of course, has it benefits and some downsides.

The plan was to let Makenna take a nap right after church so she would be well rested for fun times at the museum. Although she is only 15 months old, I assumed there would be lots of hands of stuff that she could interact with. I wanted to make sure she was awake enough to take some of it in. She, of course, had other plans. Instead of taking a nap, she just talked to herself in her crib, so Cristi and I decided to get her up and head on out.

It is located right next door to the River Market in downtown Little Rock, in the same building as Boscoe's and Sonny William's Steak House. We were able to park in the River Market parking for free and walk a block to the actual museum. Upon entering, I immediately noticed a fairly large number of unsupervised hoodlums. Although, I was expecting a much larger number of people to be there.

The first area we came to was an area that was for children ages 6 and under. Although there were plenty of kids that did not quite meet this age requirement, it wasn't that big of a deal as Makenna had plenty of room to play around without getting knocked over constantly (of course, at her size it does not take much for her to topple). She immediately found a few toys laying around which she picked up and carried around. I think that might be her favorite thing to do in the world...just carry something around. She really liked (monkey-)crawling through a caterpillar and although the first few times down the slide were surprising...she quickly got the hang of it and really enjoyed it.

I believe Cristi will be posting a video of this later, but there is an area full of large building blocks. Being the kid that I am, while Makenna was walking around elsewhere (under my wife's supervision) I started stacking the blocks. As soon as Makenna saw this, she came over and her first thought was to knock it over. She thought this was so funny and squealed every time she did it. Normally, I would have been very frustrated, but since it was my own daughter...I couldn't believe I could have so much fun watching someone destroy my towers.

Outside of those few things, I was pretty disappointed. The only thing I really "discovered" was that unsupervised kids will destroy almost anything. I'd say that a good 25% of the exhibits needed some sort of repair or were just downright broken. Watching how some of the kids played with the areas that were working...I'd give them about a week before they were no longer functioning properly. This was a little upsetting for me, not because the things were broken, but because I saw many of the "parents" sitting over to the side not saying a word while their "kids" were obviously misusing items.

There were very few hands on type things which was pretty upsetting as I remember the museum of discovery that used to be in Hot Springs (I don't know if it is still there or not). I felt like the one here in Little Rock had lots of things that you could read, but not a whole lot that you could actually experience. I doubt we will be back for quite some time, both because Makenna is still too young to really enjoy a lot of the stuff, but simply because the price of admission to me really doesn't match the quality of the items there.

I will say they had a Robotics lab that looked pretty sweet...of course at 15 months, I don't know how long Makenna would have lasted, so I didn't get a chance to see exactly what they offered in that area of the museum.

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1 Comments - Leave one yourself

Thanks for visiting the Museum of Discovery and sharing your experiences! We are glad we can provide 2nd Sundays admission free as a service to the community. I saw the pictures and video on your wife's blog--Makenna is precious and seemed to be quite entertained. On your next visit, if there are children over six in the "Room to Grow" area, please let someone at the front desk know and we'll take care of that. We try to keep the area secure with the token-and-gate system but evidently some people got around that. We want that area to be safe for the little ones.

Also please let us know if there are exhibits that are not functioning and we will try to have our exhibit staff address it immediately.

I hope that you were able to see our new exhibit “Science&Art” and “Space Adventures” both of which have areas that are appropriate for your daughter.

Also, we have a new exhibit “Backyard Science” opening this Saturday—it has two stations in particular that I think would be perfect for Makenna.

I’m also excited about our master plan to renovate the entire museum with new exhibits and activities—the Museum is over 80 years old and many of the exhibits are overdue for facelifts and replacement! As the museum is a nonprofit supported by donations, we’re in fundraising mode; as soon as we raise the money, we can make those changes!

We hope you’ll visit again soon and thanks for your feedback! Let me know if you have any questions or would like more information.

Katie McManners
Marketing Director

By Blogger Museum of Discovery Director of Marketing, at June 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

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