Venue: Discovery Center Museum
Location: 711 North Main Street, Rockford, IL Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Chicago – off of 1-90 in Rockford.
Hours: Open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm
Admission: $8.00 per person, kids under the age of 2 are free
Parking: Free – plentiful
My Experience: Last week, I told you about my visit to the Rockford Art Museum, and how I was just itching to get back to take my son to the Discovery Center Museum, located in the same building. I had no idea that Rockford had a Children’s Museum and, although this was a bit of a drive for me, I couldn’t be happier that we decided to go. I knew that my son would likely enjoy spending some time there, but there would have been no way for me to guess just how much he would love it. There are just so many reasons why I loved about this museum, but, in order to keep this post at a reasonable length, I’ll take you through my top 5.
I can remember taking my daughter to the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier when she was younger and literally have to wait around for an exhibit to open up so she could play. I’m a working mom so most of my family outings are on the weekends – of course when most kid’s venues are jam packed. We visited the Discovery Center Museum on a Saturday afternoon, and I was shocked to see that, while yes, there were a lot of people there, I wasn’t bumping elbows with anyone while following my kid around. The place was uncongested enough that I felt comfortable letting my son roam around, while my husband and I simply followed him wherever he wanted to go. A big plus for this place!
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. We spent a majority of our time here (as you can see from the photos below) – he still asks every day if we can go back to the “zee-um”.
Outdoor Rock River Discovery Park
This part of the museum looks really cool, but we visited on a cold day in January so, of course, it wasn’t open. 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! We can’t wait to come back when the weather’s nicer!
Once again, this entire space is hands-on and the kids really love it. There are so many things to do and explore here – we are so glad to took the trip and will definitely be back again soon. We are seriously considering a membership because, at only $80 for the year, it would pay for itself in a little more than 3 visits for us – and I know we’ll be back more than 3 times in the next year.
I’ll leave you with a few more photos of our experience. If ever you’re in the area, please stop by the Discovery Center Museum and let me know how you liked it!