Garden State Discovery Museum
"Ooops! Honey, I shrunk South Jersey . . . and put it in Cherry Hill!"
Actually, this neat museum showcases various Southern New Jersey features in child-size, interactive exhibits that youngsters from infant to ten years old can explore, play with, and learn from. Voted one of the Top 20 Children's Museums in the country, the 22,000 square-foot Garden State Discovery Museum offers twenty exhibit areas that are designed to challenge a child's imagination and natural curiosity:
The Silver Diner is kid-sized from the booths to the counter to the kitchen where junior chefs can cook up some kitchen classics for their families, as well as, play with things they see in a diner, like cash registers and a milkshake machine.
Down the Shore takes children on a familiar adventure, where they can learn about the wonders of southern New Jersey whether it's fishing for flounder from a boat, exploring life under the sea, or climbing aboard a lifeguard's chair. The exhibit keeps visitors beach-bound all year long.
Backstage Theater provides children with a stage where they can develop and direct their own productions with the Dressing Room and Costumes provided by Goodwill of America, as well as a sound system. The 100-seat theater is also the site of special performances throughout the year.
Bubble Trouble allows children to put themselves inside a giant bubble or play with a number of other bubble devices that illustrate the "science behind the suds".
Wildlife Theater is brimming with scaley friends and creepy crawlers. Check out the Museum's collection of Red-eared Slider Turtles at the Turtle Bog. Climb through the bug tunnel to see live Tarantulas, Scorpions and Millipedes. Visit our Chinese Water Dragons and Australian Bearded Dragons or come face to face with our snake. Stay for a live animal show and learn all there is to know.
Nature Center encourages children to explore animal behavior, by climbing a two-story tree house or playing with the puppets found in the branches below. Children are also invited to climb through a giant spider web without getting caught.
Arts and Imagination invites children to get their hands on arts through exploration. Throughout the year, artists-in-residence encourage kids to create masterpieces or work on craft projects they can take home.
Spot's Newsroom challenges children to explore creative writing. Using their computer skills, visitors can write headlines, take photos, and write front-page stories for the Garden State Discovery Museum edition of the Courier-Post.
Vet and Pet helps children explore how to care for household and exotic pets. Light tables are available to examine animal X-rays, make a diagnosis through the microscope, perform surgery on a stuffed bunny, stethoscopes can help kids figure out what has happened to the stuffed animal patients, and an examination table helps kids bandage hurt paws, ears, scales and tales. All these things help them imagine what it would like to be a veterinarian. Sponsored by Animal and Bird Health Care Center.
Subaru Science Shop and Service Station, provided by Subaru of America, has hands-on fun down to a science. Be amazed by the lava window, the magical light/dark room and test Sir Isaac's theories of gravity and motion. Get your wrenches ready and be a regular grease monkey!
Check-Up, provided by Cooper Children's Regional Hospital, provides children with a place to learn about their bodies through a visit to the doctor's office. Peer through a giant eyeball, stop at the listening station, examine a baby or test surgical skills on a giant Museum version of Operation.
Farm Stand features New Jersey's finest produce, where kids can shop for pretend fruits and vegetables, weigh them on the scale, and head over to the cash register to check out.
Under Construction invites children to participate in the building of a two-story house. Small hands with big minds can engineer their own town using miniature wooden buildings and roads or sit at the architect's light table to draft plans for dream houses.
Rock Climbing Wall teaches children the basics of rock climbing and bouldering, as they climb hand-over-hand across a rock face. Seek and find animals in the giant mural to see what our local unique ecosystem, the Pine Barrens, has hidden.
Channel 6 Action News Studio, provided by WPVI gives children the chance to sit behind a news desk or stand in front of the weather map to report on important stories of the day or forecast the weather. A real kid-operated camera captures the reporters at work and broadcasts it "live" to several locations throughout the Museum.
Little Discoveries is a safe, creative space designed exclusively for children under 4 years of age. We love to watch our visitors grow as they are developing skills such as sorting and matching or climbing and sliding down a giant tube slide. Parents are encouraged to browse through the books and other resources on parenting topics and early childhood education provided by the Museum's education staff. Free "Early Explorer" classes for parents and their children are held weekly.
The Changing Exhibit Hall features a variety of hands-on, educational exhibits that are fun for the entire family. Call the Museum or visit their official website (linked above) for the current events.
Summed up, the Garden State Discovery Museum is a modern, interactive play environment the best of our adult world in miniature. Many exhibit areas are backed by beautiful murals.The Museum makes for a great morning or afternoon outing for a family or group.The Museum also maintains a very full calendar of special events and activities, such as cultural activities, performances, storytelling, crafts, and more. Call for a calendar. And remember the Museum for children's birthday parties!
Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.