Children’s Discovery Museum is located at 101 E. Beaufort, Normal, IL. They have hands-on exhibits, classes, and programs, for children of all ages, which open your imagination to a variety of things. Most museums do not allow you to touch anything but in the Children’s Discovery Museum touching the exhibits is encouraged. The exhibits are designed for all ages to touch, climb on, climb into, and even take apart and put back together. The mission of the Children’s Discovery Museum is to inspire the love of learning through the power of play! You can contact the Children's Discovery Museum by calling 309-433-3444 or by emailing [email protected]

History

The "McLean County Children's Discovery Museum" was founded in 1988. Six years of planning resulted in an opening on March 27, 1994. The exhibits dealt with arts, sciences, and communications. The public responded to the museum phenomenally.

In March of 1995, the Children's Discovery Museum had to expand due to the requests for field trips, birthday parties, and hands-on classes.

In 1997 they officially changed their name to the Children's Discovery Museum of Central Illinois to better reflect their visitor population and funding authority.

In 2001 the Museum began to construct a campaign to fund another expansion of the Museum. The museum would take part in the renewal effort of Downtown Normal.

On November 18, 2002, the Town of Normal officially announced a commitment to constructing a $4.5 million, 34,000 sq. ft. building. This museum would have four permanent interactive exhibit galleries, additional programming, as well as furniture and equipment needed for museum programs and operations.

On November 27, 2004, the Children's Discovery Museum opened their doors to their first visitors of its new three-story home.

Hours and Admissions

Hours

Monday: 9 A.M. to Noon (Members Only). Tuesday & Wednesday: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Thursday: 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. Friday &  Saturday: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Sunday: 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. 

Admissions

Admission is eight dollars per person ages two and over. Children under the age of two are free! The admission is for free access all day, exploring all three floors, and participation is floor activities! Let's not forget, college kids are welcomed as well!

Programs

Ages 3-12 Months 

  • Love and Learn

Ages 12-24 Months

  • Playful Learners I

Ages 24-36 Months

  • Playful Learners II

Ages 3-4 Years

  • Playful Learners III

Ages 4-5 Years 

  • Early Explorers
  • Pre-School Camps

Ages 5-13 Years

  • Discovery Day Camps (grades K-5)
  • Home school Programs
  • Scout Programs
  • Kinder Camps 
  • Camp Discovery 

For more information go to: [https://www.childrensdiscoverymuseum.net/31/Learning]

Exhibits

Discover My World Gallery

These exhibits give the children the opportunity to be in charge.

  • Water Works!
  • Toddler Backyard
  • Inside Me
  • My Place
  • Train Express
  • Kids Medical Center

Healthy Future Gallery

This gallery has a variety of healthy living styles which are portrayed in many different ways. The children discover ways that healthy food can be fun, ways to keep a healthy relationship, and ways the great outdoors benefits our health.

  • Way to Go
  • Talking Porch
  • Together We Can
  • Fresh Market
  • Healthy Pizza Cafe
  • Fast Delivery Pizza Truck
  • Dig It Climbing Wall
  • Dig It Pocket Garden
  • Dig It Wind Power

Imagine Air Gallery

These exhibits give the children an opportunity to experience physics principals.

  • Imagine Air Table
  • Imagine Air Maze
  • Amazing Ball Machine

Oh Rubbish

This gallery educates the children in ways to recycle and how landfills work.

  • Oh Rubbish Landfill
  • Recycle Spin Browser
  • Compost Bin

AgMazing

These exhibits engage the children into farming experiences on today’s farms. They learn what happens on farms and that food, clothes, and fuel are made from the crops harvested.

  • AgMazing
  • Combine
  • Dairy Farming

Arts Incorporated

This gallery shows both arts and sciences collided in one.

  • Museum Paint Wall
  • Recollections Room
  • Art Studio
  • Imagination Theater
  • Puppet Theatre
  • Math in Music

Luckey Climber

This exhibit gives the children to climb up and down the three story building. It is the only one in the world that hangs from the ceiling!

For more information go to: [http://www.childrensdiscoverymuseum.net/Exhibits/Exhibits.asp]

Discover More! Store

The store is filled with educational books, toys, puzzles, and games.

Hours

Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Thursday and Friday: 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. Saturday: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Sunday: 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. Mondays: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. in June, July and August

Membership

Family Membership

  • $95
  • 10% discount in the Discover More! Store
  • Discounts on CDM special events, birthday parties and education programs
  • Invitations to exhibit previews and member events
  • Free subscription to museum newsletter

Family Plus Membership

  • $130
  • 10% discount in the Discover More! Store
  • Discounts on CDM special events, birthday parties and education programs
  • Invitations to exhibit previews and member events
  • Free subscription to museum newsletter
  • One free guest admission with each visit to CDM
  • Discounted or Free admission to over 500 participating ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) Passport Program, and up to 6 1/2 price admissions to participating ACM (Association of Children’s Museums) - Reciprocal Network.

Grandparents Membership

  • $125
  • Unlimited admission for grandparents and their grandchildren for bonding times at the museum.
  • 10% discount in the Discover More! Store
  • Discounts on CDM special events, birthday parties and education programs
  • Invitations to exhibit previews and member events
  • Free subscription to museum newsletter
  • One free guest admission with each visit to CDM
  • Discounted or Free admission to over 500 participating ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) Passport Program, and up to 6 1/2 price admissions to participating ACM (Association of Children’s Museums) - Reciprocal Network.

Volunteer Program

Every day volunteers at the Children’s Discovery Museum make a difference. Each volunteer help the education staff make their mission come alive as they "inspire the love of learning through the power of play".

Internship Opportunities

There are many opportunities on college internships. The internships give you an experience in various departments and fields ranging from education and visitors services to exhibits and public relations.

Other Opportunities

You can go to any of these for more opportunites to volunteer to help with kids!

Staff

Education Manager

  • Rachel Carpenter

Office Associate 

  • Clare Dietmeier

Exhibit Manager 

  • John Dolan

Director of Museum Experiences and Engagement 

  • Shelly Hanover 

Marketing and Communications Specialist

  • Wendy Long

Volunteer and Events Coordinator 

  • Amy Pitzer

Programming Staff

  • Jenny Raisbeck
  • Erin Wiese-Reichert

Art Studio

  • Rachel Ratliff

Executive Director of Cultural Arts 

  • Beth Whisman