Children are always delighted to visit the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum, and parents and educators, just as excited to bring them, know that each exhibit encourages an exploration of ideas and provides a new learning adventure. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday and on Sunday afternoons, the Children’s Discovery Museum contains an Art Gallery to display the work of budding young local artists and a Kid’s Garden to let children actually help plant, maintain, and harvest a garden plot. Garden activities change with the seasons, but some perennial favorites include making a scarecrow, creating leaf art, and making bird feeders.
A favorite exhibit at the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum is Bubbalogna. In this area, children learn about the principles behind bubbles and get to test these properties of physics by experimenting with various shapes, sizes and colors. Another scientific area of the museum allows visitors to study circles and features eighteen different exhibits to give some special hand-on interaction. Students become so intrigued with the experiments that they never realize that they are learning as they play.
To stir interest in local history, the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum has a special room that displays cornhusk dolls that were made by Native Americans long ago. Museum visitors who want to try their hand at this ancient craft are provided with pre-soaked cornhusks and detailed directions for making their very own dolls. Another exceptional hands-on experience is provided by the Rainbow Pizza and Market at the museum. Children are encouraged to gather healthy ingredients at the market and use these fruits and vegetables to make their own pizzas, which are then cooked in the onsite adobe-style oven.
When visitors tire of the numerous activities provided and need a little rest and entertainment, it is time to visit a performance at the Lee and Diane Brandenburg Theatre or the Cadence Amphitheatre. The performances are free with general admission to the museum, and many feature inspirational young artists, musicians, and performers. Through these presentations, visitors will be exposed to a variety of cultural and historical information.
All children are fascinated by water, and the WaterWays exhibit at the Children’s Discovery Museum only heightens their interest. Divided into two sections of activities appropriate for younger and older children, this exhibit gives them the opportunity to play with water as they learn about its properties. Younger children learn about objects that will sink and those that float while older children examine waterfalls and create their own fountains. Everyone has a “splashingly” great time.
Although it would take many visits to explore all of the permanent areas of the Children’s Discovery Museum, the directors makes sure that new exhibits are always available by scheduling visiting exhibits such as Bob the Builder-Project Build It. Special dramatic and musical performances are also scheduled seasonally to provide opportunities for families to enjoy the museum together.
The large purple kid-friendly building that houses the museum is handicapped accessible and encloses over one hundred interactive exhibits for unique learning experiences. Because an all day birthday adventure for twelve children and six adults can be purchased for about two hundred and fifty dollars, parents often schedule birthday parties for their children at the museum. The staff directs all activities, allowing the parents to enjoy the day along with their children.
The Children’s Discovery Museum offers the perfect blend of education and fun. Why not take a few hours or a whole day to explore the valuable opportunities offered by this wonderful place created especially for children?