Explore over 8,000 square feet of hands-on, fun and interactive learning opportunities from both national and international touring exhibits and select permanent exhibits from the DHDC collection. Exhibits change every fall, spring and summer, providing visitors new discoveries every visit!
Open February 3 – May 20
Wild Music invites visitors of all ages to expand their understanding of what makes music. Through whimsical, hands-on activities, they’ll not only hear the music that surrounds them every day, but they’ll see and even feel it too. They’ll discover that nature is filled with “musicians” that create distinct musical masterpieces to communicate with and relate to one another. And they’ll explore how human music is inspired by the music ofother living creatures – from tiny insects to giant whales. Highlights include: Jamming Room, Bioacoustic Lab, and the Power of Sound and Music Theater.
Open May 20- September 17
Life Size Games for Life Size Fun! Come PLAY and learn the many concepts of physics with GIANT versions of popular games. Your heart will be pumping and your brain will be tingling in this one-of-a-kind BRAND NEW exhibit, made and produced by our own Exhibits team at the Discovery Center. What can you learn by playing Jenga, Kerplunk, Soccer Billiards, Lite Brite, Chess and Checkers? Physics @ Play explores the science of Physics while engaging the inner child in all of us- through play!
Discover the force of Gravity with the Giant Jenga game. Manipulate the various structural loads that are supporting the structure even after being comprised. What do you notice when two edge blocks are removed leaving only the center block?
Discover how Compression comes into play when two objects are pushed together with the Giant Kerplunk game. In this game all of the sticks are pushed together along with the balls. How many sticks can you remove before the compression is relased and all the balls fall to the bottom?
GOAL! Learn all about kinetic energy and trajectory with GIANT SOCCER BILLIARDS. Explore this game of collisions and see first-hand Newton’s Laws of Motion.
Create endless patterns with our colorful GIANT LITE BRITE wall. This timeless Lite Brite exhibit creates mesmerizing opportunities for play. Kids of all ages will enjoy making patterns with acrylic rods in six colors. Parents will love the trip down memory lane when they see this classic toy designed at large scale. This activity is perfect for solo play or for a group of kids.
Physics @ Play is Produced by the Don Harrington Discovery Center and generously Sponsored by the Kimble Foundation and the Mullins Foundation.
Located just outside the Space Theater, The Space Gallery is dedicated to exploring weather conditions on Earth and beyond. Multimedia presentations reveal real-time data regarding weather conditions on Earth and explore the science of common weather phenomena. Interactive displays examine space weather concepts such as auroras, solar flares and cosmic rays and uncover their effect on the Earth.
Designed for our youngest scientists, KinderStudio is a permanent exploration space for children ages 0-6. Interactive, imaginative play areas feature a climbing structure, tumbling space with mats, a lighted performance stage, hands-on manipulatives (blocks, tubes, and toys) and raw materials for creative play (i.e. shells, pine cones and popsicle sticks).
Your visit to the DHDC will not be complete without meeting some furry and scaly friends. From a Bearded Dragon and Tarantula to a friendly snake we call ’Pinky’, Critter Row introduces guests to animals that come from different regions all around the world. Get an up-close look at these interesting creatures and you may even get an opportunity to touch one of them. Our trained Science Guides occasionally take the animals out to mingle.
Giant Worlds takes visitors on a tour of the “gas giants” – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – and explores some of their most fascinating mysteries: enormous hurricanes that last for centuries; moons that harbor vast ocenas below an icy surface; and magnetic enviroments that can generate massive storms of charged particles. This hands-on exhibit provides visitors with an in-depth look at each of the outer planers and exlores what scientists have learned about these immense giants. A final stop at What’s Next? reveals new missions NASA has planned for further research on the gas giants.
From a giant tennis ball launcher to a table top parabola, Bounce reveals how much there is to learn from a simple sphere. The exhibit features 35 hands-on learning stations which rotate on and off the exhibit floor providing visitors with new learning opportunities during every visit. A favorite with scientists of all ages, Bounce allows visitors to discover concepts of geometry, optics, sound, force, motion, acceleration, inertia, simple machines, planetary motion and more.
Imagination Playground is designed to inspire children-directed learning. Giant blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes, oversized cogs, wheels, spools and tubes stimulate creativity in children of all ages and inspire them to invent their own ways to play. Kids work together to create original structures and make up their own stories, rules and games. Younger learners practice skills such as hand-eye coordination; fine motor development; spatial awareness and foundational math and science thinking while older kids experiment with concepts of force, inertia, gravity, simple machines, measurement and geometry.
ExploraZone engages learners of all ages with hands-on stations exploring a wealth of physics concepts, including force and motion, energy transformation, mechanics and perception. Visitors can construct and investigate the movement of a catenary arch, explore the science behind optical illusions, discover properties of periodic motion or examine the math behind movement.