Six things you need to know about the new Discovery Children's Museum at the Smith Center.
1. It’s three stories tall and 58,000 square feet—almost double the size of the former Lied Discovery Children’s Museum.
2. It will have nine themed exhibition halls, including Fantasy Festival (play-acting), Eco City (including a Smith’s Jamba Juice and veterinarian’s office, all educating about green business), Patents Pending (inventions), Toddler Town (for ages 5 and under), Solve It! Mystery Town (three rotating mysteries to keep kids guessing) and Young at Art and It’s Your Choice (healthy diet and lifestyle choices).
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3. Get ready to get wet. Water World is based on Hoover Dam, and museum spokeswoman Denyce Tuller says you might want to use one of the provided raincoats or smocks before entering. “It’s a world of splashing and exploring,” she says. During a private event in February to thank those involved in the museum’s construction, Tuller says Water World “was the hit of the museum. There were little boys and big boys in there playing.”
4. And tired. The museum’s centerpiece is The Summit, a three-story, multicolored series of obstacles that are sure to tucker out your child (or overambitious adult). On each level there are between three and five components for crawling, sliding, walking or climbing. There’s also an interactive component; one of the cooler aspects of The Summit is an old jalopy on the first floor that kids can actually lift through a series of ropes. “Even I can do it,” Tuller says. In addition, The Summit peeks out of the roof of the museum for some pretty impressive views of the Valley.
5. The museum also has a 5,000-square-foot space for traveling exhibits, and its inaugural show will be the George Washington exhibit from Mount Vernon.
6. The museum’s grand opening will be at 10 a.m. March 9, and the first 1,500 customers get in free. Otherwise, admission is $12 for all ages. For more information, call 382-3445 or go to discoverykidslv.org.