They say the cure for boredom is curiosity. Toddlers and young children rarely get bored, but they do get curious. They draw on walls with markers, unroll the toilet paper and engage in all manner of discovery, as we smile patiently and clean up the mess. Soon they'll be able to channel all that energy at a new museum designed just for kids. The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum is preparing for its grand opening on September 10th, and recently I took a behind-the-scenes tour of the 67-thousand square foot building which is being transformed into a space for fun and creativity.
There's plenty to get excited about, including hands-on exhibits featuring art, science, history, solar energy and health. There's even an exhibit on flight.
"It's a place for families to come together and learn," says Patrick Turner, marketing manager for the Museum. And it's something families in Northern Nevada have been asking for. "They're looking forward to having a hub to come to in the evenings and on weekends and do stuff that's fun, but also stuff that helps kids learn," he said.
As we walked around the museum and looked at the progress, I had two thoughts: One, there seems to be something for everyone; and two, I wish they had built this ten years ago when my daughter was little.
The Museum occupies the old City Hall building on Center Street in downtown Reno. The 18-thousand square foot exhibit hall is divided into galleries designed for children of different ages and tastes.
DaVinci's Corner explores the world of art, and encourages children to use their imagination by combining art and science through hands-on projects and exhibits.
There's even a place for very little kids called Little Discoveries, where they can explore, build things and pretend, all in a safe space that's separated from the big kids.
The Nevada Stories gallery showcases our state's history, but also reveals how environment, culture and industry have shaped our cities and communities. One of the best ideas is the electric horse.
The museum has been a labor of love and more importantly, a collaborative effort. "There are so many organizations, individuals and major donors from the community involved," says Turner. The space is designed to welcome school groups, community groups and parties. It even has a kitchen for cooking classes. There's a parking lot with 100 spaces. Important when you're hauling kids and all their stuff around.
A Family Membership to the museum is $85 per year, which gives you unlimited access whenever the museum is open. Daily admission is also available.
The Nevada Discovery Museum has a website and a Facebook page, where you can find out more information about the programs and the grand opening on September 10th. Local businesses like Renown Children's Hospital are holding drawings for free memberships. You can visit the Museum's Facebook page to find out more, or call the museum at 775-786-1000.
The dream of a full scale children's museum in Reno has become a reality. Thanks to the work of many, the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discover Museum is ready to engage the children of Northern Nevada, California and visitors from far and wide.