Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Discovery World, Milwaukee

In case you don't know, I'm a Chicagoland gal.  And, for as much as I love the farms and my soul is bonded to the land, I also completely adore the offerings of a city as great as Chicago.  I'm also a bit of an experience junkie, and I love exploring museums with my kids.  Chicago has a ton of great museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry, which we visit so often that we have a family membership.

One of the great parts of our membership is that it gives us reciprocal privileges at many other science museums around the country.  So, when we found ourselves looking for something to do in Milwaukee, we decided to check out one of those museums: Discovery World.

Discovery World is located right on the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee.  It's 120,000 square feet of amazing discoveries.  From the moment you step inside, you are immersed in innovation.  Science and art combined to create an intriguing environment that you can't help but explore.  Interactive exhibits are practically falling over each other to draw you in, to teach you their lessons, to let you experience their offerings.

 Seriously, everything is interactive.  We were able to lay on a bed of nails...

Run on human-powered hamster wheels...

Play tic tac toe with a robot...

Fly a plane (simulator)...

Play some Les Pauls...

And climb aboard a ship, suspended above the first floor!  And that's just scratching the surface or what's offered!


For a small additional price for a ticket, we saw a fantastic show about Nicola Tesla.  I think I learned more in that hour than I have in some full weeks of my life.  My kids were so excited...the electricity on stage wasn't the only energy being fueled there!

The kids fabricated their own small toys and models with giant machines, and then went into the Kohl's Design It! Quick Shop and made more projects to take home there.  I was amazed that all of it was included in the price of admission.  My girls made chocolate molds (obviously, they are mine), and my little guy made a can coozy (yep, mine too).

We also went on a virtual roller coaster in a place called The Hive, watched the kids' hair stand on end as they touched a Van De Graff generator, and "ran" the controls of a nuclear reactor.  

Oh, and did I mention they have a real ship outside that does cruises and tours?  

Or that they also have a pretty impressive aquarium?  Including a walk-through tank and a touch tank?

We spent a full day there, and I know we could go back several times without ever getting bored.  There's so much to experience there!  I love that it makes advanced concepts approachable and accessible for even the youngest in my crew.  I also appreciate that, with the exception of the Tesla show, everything was included, so I didn't have to worry about costs adding up.  They also have a small cafeteria, if you want to grab a bite, and a gift shop, but both are very subtle...quiet side notes to the main event: educational fun.  We can hardly wait to go back again!

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