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! Click here to see our digital map and plan your visit!
Outdoor Science Park
Located on the southeast side of DHDC’s front entrance, this outdoor science park features a fossil dig pit, hands-on learning, and engineering marvels. The Outdoor Science Park includes a gazing ball, whisper dishes, a chair lift, a tennis ball launcher, a Kundu drum, grandioso chimes, kettle drum, 2 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, and many other pieces! This outdoor exploration space adds a dynamic space for school groups and families, filled with ample seating for a picnic lunch or snacks during your visit to DHDC. Park hours are the same as normal DHDC visitation hours, with the exception of inclement weather. DHDC regular admission includes access to the Outdoor Science Park. Funding for DHDC’s Outdoor Science Park is provided by ASCO, Xcel Energy, and the Future’s Bright Donors.
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, a 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 Monty, 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 Ant Crawler
Beyond: Unity In Community
An immersive exhibit experience highlighting the music, food, traditions, and agricultural contributions of the Karen (Kah-Ren) people.
Since 2007, Karen people have been resettling in Amarillo and now more than 5,000 Karen people live in Amarillo. Amarillo is also home to more than 5,000 refugees from other ethnic groups in Myanmar, including Karenni, Mon, Chin, Burmese, and Kachin. Refugees from Myanmar come to Amarillo for the same reasons as many people do: to find good jobs, to access high-quality education and high quality of life, and to connect with a strong community in this country.
This exhibit was envisioned, designed, and built IN-HOUSE by our incredible DHDC team, with the support of the local Karen community (K.C.A “Karen Community of Amarillo Texas”) AND the Refugee Language Project. Funded by an IMLS grant.
Geared Up: Futures in STEM
“Geared Up: Futures in STEM” will give children and adults the chance to gear up for a career in STEM by ‘becoming’ a scientist, nurse, meteorologist, pilot, or other STEM professions while learning through play.
The “Geared Up: Futures in STEM” will feature two to four learning “pods” on a rotating basis designed to immerse guests in STEM fields. Guests will create, play, and learn as they explore the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math utilized in these local careers with an emphasis on career opportunities in the Texas Panhandle.
The exhibit is currently showcasing the Meteorology and Broadcast piece. Guests can look forward to exploring additional STEM careers coming soon. “Geared Up: Futures in STEM” is a dedicated area at the Discovery Center designed to expose children and families to STEM careers in a fun and engaging environment and learn about local STEM industries.
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.
Sun, Earth, Universe
We are excited to be one of the institutions across the country awarded a copy of the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibit.
This engaging, hands-on interactive exhibit is filled with dazzling imagery, and will connect you with current NASA science research and launch you on a journey to explore the universe! The Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibition was developed in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sun, Earth, Universe exhibitions are developed and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network).
How is Earth changing? What is it like on other planets? Does life exist beyond Earth? What’s happening on the Sun, and how does it affect us? Sun, Earth, Universe is a new exhibition about our planet, the solar system, and the universe, and the big questions NASA is trying to answer about each.
Sun, Earth, Universe includes fun and compelling exhibits for visitors of all ages. Follow the design-build-test cycle of engineering and build a model spacecraft for your own mission to space. Spin a tumbler of 10,000 beads, representing all of the stars we can see from Earth to search for the unique one that represents our Sun. Reveal hidden images using the same tools NASA scientists employ to explore the otherwise invisible forces and energy of the universe. Help younger visitors pilot rovers across the Mars landscape play table. These fun experiences (and many more!) introduce visitors to ongoing NASA research in the fields of heliophysics, Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics, and encourage them to imagine what the future of Earth and space science might hold.
Planetary Landscapes examines landforms and the changes they undergo over time. Hands-on exhibits and colorful graphics allow visitors to explore common landforms and the forces that create change to the Earth’s surface such as volcanic eruptions, continental rifts, wind, water, and ice. Visitors can also investigate the similarities and differences between landforms on Earth and those found on the surfaces of our celestial neighbors.
Dive into the world of simple machines and construction with this exhibit designed and built by DHDC. Get hands-on with heavy machinery and try constructing your own building as you become the architect, engineer, and construction manager. Guests of all ages will create, play, and learn while exploring the concepts of construction, motion, and simple machines that make cities and towns grow! Hand-operate a pulley or conveyor belt to explore cause and effect. Turn the wheels of a gantry crane to transport cargo and discover mechanical physics at work. Operate a child-sized crane to hook, lift and move objects and materials. Build structures with blocks, pipes, and gears while learning about size, weight, shape, balance, gravity, and stability.
Maker Metropolis was produced by the Don Harrington Discovery Center exhibits team and is generously sponsored by The Waite & Genevieve Phillips Foundation, Xcel Energy, Joe Soliz Masonry, Panhandle of Texas Chapter – Associated General Contractors, John Kritser, KAMR Local 4 News & Fox14 News, Bell and Happy State Bank. These in-kind donors also contributed to the production of this exhibit: L.A. Fuller & Sons, BMC, Amarillo Bolt, A-1 Rocket, Fabwright, and Texas Barricades &