Have you checked out Children’s Discovery Museum in Uptown Normal yet? If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or babysitter and you haven’t visited the museum yet, then do it. Just do it. The kids can burn off energy while they learn, plus you can score some major cool points with the kiddos.
Just how cool is the CDM? Cool enough that my husband and I regularly shuttle our tribe of precious (precocious) little humans the fifty miles from our home to the museum so that they can play themselves to the point of exhaustion. There are exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. There is a small padded safe play area for infants, a play area reserved exclusively for toddlers, and activities that keep my almost 11 year old just as entertained as the little guys.
With the wide range of exhibits, it is a sure fire bet that CDM has activities to entertain and stimulate the imagination of kids of all personalities and interests. Our family favorites include the water table play area, the train table, the giant foam block building area, the pizzeria/supermarket, the multi-story climbing area, and of course, the agriculture exhibit that includes a tractor and a combine to play in. The exhibits are amongst the best that we have seen, including those of large museums in the St. Louis and Chicago area.
In my opinion, one of the best things about the museum is the amazing staff that works there. The desk staff is always super friendly and helpful, and the staff working the three floors of exhibits is awesome as well. We regularly see workers walking around sanitizing toys and surfaces and straightening messes, ensuring that all visitors are able to explore, play, and learn in a safe, fun, and clean environment. The museum also provides staff to supervise the painting and craft areas and do special projects with the patrons. Everyone is always cheerful and eager to help out in any way needed, which is fantastic if you are a parent supervising a number of children at once.
The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9-5, Thursdays and Fridays 9-8 and Sundays from 1-5. There is usually conveniently close parking available at the Uptown Normal Station parking garage. The museum allows for re-entry so that patrons can leave to visit one of neighboring eateries and then return for more fun. CDM also allows food to be brought in and has an eating area set up on the second floor. Our family will often bring a cold lunch from home or have an adult run out for a pizza to bring back, and our visits are often topped off by a visit to Emack and Bolio’s for ice cream on the way home.
The current admission price is $6 for visitors aged 2 and up. (This price will be rising to $7 on April 1st.) We chose to purchase a Family Plus membership for $125 ($130 as of April 1st) that allows for unlimited admission for the entire family for a year. This membership also allows us to bring a visitor with us for free, gives us a discount at the museum store, and provides us with free or reduced admission to participating museums across the country. We have actually used this perk several times to get free admission to other museums, which is great during the summer when we travel more frequently. Our membership is worth every penny to us, and I would recommend purchasing one if you plan on visiting Children’s Discovery Museum frequently throughout the year.
We are truly blessed to have an amazing resource like Children’s Discovery Museum located in our area. Visit their website at childrensdiscoverymuseum.net for more information!