Museum of Discovery
The museum was originally accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1993 and was re-accredited in 2001. During the period between its founding and its accreditation, the museum actively collected approximately 14,000 cultural and historical artifacts and numerous species of live animals and insects. In the 1970s, in-museum and outreach programs were developed, utilizing both the collections and the museum’s exhibits.
In 1998, the museum moved to the River Market and changed its name to the Museum of Discovery. The new facility provided more hands-on, interactive exhibits and programs, and the museum began to focus more intensely on science, technology, engineering and math. In 2003, the museum merged with the Children’s Museum of Arkansas and assumed responsibility for addressing the needs of preschool children. Also in 2003, the museum became a Smithsonian Affiliate.
In 2011, the museum closed for nine months in order to add a new entrance and undergo a total renovation. This project, funded by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, also provided funding for new, interactive science exhibits, completing the museum’s transformation from a collecting museum to a science center.
My family frequents and loves the MoD. And I do mean frequents; We can easily spend 90 minutes here with a 3 year old 2-3 times a month. The children’s programs are a terrific time spent with little ones and After Dark events are great for the kids at heart. This place is great for “kids” ages 2-60+. My toddler gets seriously bummed out when we’re down town but can’t go visit the museum. A family membership is easily one of the best investments that can be made and it pays for itself after a couple of visits - seriously, the ROI on membership is something like 1,000% writhing the first 90 days. Not to mention the discounted parking when asked to validate. I’ve spent many a summer Saturdays split between the museum and Farmer’s Market.
This was SUCH a fun place! We were passing through on a road trip and stopped with our 2- and 4-year-olds and stayed for over 2 hours without seeing everything. Their are so many engaging and educational displays, and the kids really get the hands-on experience. When my kids got a little tired of just the science (they could do most everything, but a few of the exhibits were over their heads), we went into a playroom for younger children where they played with huge lego-type building blocks, a jungle gym, a play vet center and music and dance sections. It costs $10 for adults and $8 for children 1-12 and is well worth the price. There is no designated parking (that we could find..), but there is paid street parking, or a public parking lot across the street that was $2/hour.
Great family fun! So many different hands on activities for all ages. Check their calendar for special events. Definitely a place to visit.
A nice place to bring the kids for a couple of hours. Take the Trolley down and enjoy lunch at the many restaurants in the immediate area. They have recently redone the 6yr old and younger section. This Museum participates in the ASTC passport program in the event that you have a family membership at another Museum 60 miles or further away.
Fun but pricey for younger kids. The kid area for smaller kids could use more and the museum needs more interactive exhibits. Not something I would go to more than once.