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Just right for kids

Children’s Discovery Museum specializes in hands-on exhibits

NORMAL – If the kids are tired of being told not to touch Aunt Jane's china collection, then load up the car and head to the Children's Discovery Museum.

This is the spot to grab, touch, crawl, and climb. The exhibits are ready and waiting for curious children and their hands.

As its name implies, the Children's Discovery Museum is designed for exploration by toddlers through preteens. Colorful exhibits throughout the three stories make for fun learning experiences.

One of the highlights of a visit is the Innovation Station. Suitable for families and loaded with hands-on activity, the station teaches about science, technology, engineering, art and math. It will test problem-solving skills.

There are two parts to the station. A maker area is the location where designs are created. Children can use tools and materials provided. They also can take things apart and check out what goes on inside them. The sky's the limit. Creating and tinkering activities are offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The second part is the science laboratory. Here, engineering, nanotechnology, biology, chemistry and physics are taught on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

In the rest of the museum, various subjects are covered. Discover My World delves into water, a place to play with trains, and a kids' medical center. The subject of health includes a Healthy Pizza Cafe and a climbing wall. Children can even do a little digging or relax on the porch.

In the Imagine Air Gallery, kids will find an air maze, a ball machine, and an air table with all the fun of games. And there's nothing like being down on the farm in Agmazing!. Visitors can sit in a combine and look into the world of dairy farming.

The word "no" won't be heard in Artsink! where kids can paint on a wall, get involved in puppet theater, and explore math in music. And Luckey Climber has climbing opportunities, while Energy Challenge offers a look at energy.

Visitors do not need to worry about a place to park when they arrive. It's recommended to use one of the nearby parking decks close to the museum. The price is $1 an hour. One lot, Parkinson Street Parking, is 3-hour parking at no charge.

Just park and hit the trail of exploration.

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