Having two young girls, I strive to always provide them learning experiences of all kind, but especially STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). They will not grow up thinking “I can’t because I’m a girl.” I’ll fight tooth and nail for them to have equality in experiences and opportunities. That’s why I love having so many exploratory learning centers in middle Tennessee to use at our disposal.
Fall break is here (or coming soon) and Middle Tennessee has two great options for kids to play and still learn at the same time. Check out my overview on the Adventure Science Center and below for my overview on the Discovery Center.
The Discovery Center is located in Murfreesboro, TN, home of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Blue Raiders. “The Boro” is about 40 minutes southeast of Nashville and has boomed in the past 10 years with many things to do.
The Discovery Center provides hands-on education opportunities that range from the 5 senses, music, imagination, memory, to real-life play (trains, grocery stores, physician offices, mechanics, etc.), engineering, and phosphorescence.
This center has been educating children through exploratory learning for decades. But unlike the Adventure Science Center (ASC), we rounded the entire center twice and were ready to leave after being there for about two hours. Needless to say it’s much smaller than the ASC but still provides a fun and educational experience for the kids. Some of our favorite exhibits:
My oldest actually went on a field trip to the Discovery Center and raved about the Fire Truck. She was so excited to go back and play on it. I love that they highlight our first responders as icons. There were several fire-fighter dress-up outfits for the kids to pretend while “driving” the truck. There were boys and girls crawling all over this exhibit.
Kids were learning about “farm to table” and my girls especially loved playing house! They used the conveyor to transport fruits, vegetables, pastries, and grains from their basket to the cash register then took their fresh [fake] groceries to the cottage to make dinner.
Science of Music
This temporary exhibit was fun, educational, and entertaining. Kids were bouncing from instrument to instrument learn how it worked and how they could manipulate the sound depending how they played it. From the piano, to the giant guitar, to the drums, to the microphone, to the pipe organ there was always one open so the kids didn’t have to wait long at all.
Tiny Town (toddler area)
My youngest (3.5 years old) is technically still a toddler but she doesn’t let that stop her. She follows big sister (6 years old) and attempts everything she does so we don’t often need to utilize the toddler area. But for the sake of wanting to explore the entire center, we gave it a try and both of my girls LOVED this area! It’s literally set up like a little town where kids can dress up and pretend to work at the grocery store, doctor’s office, home improvement store, post office, and music store. This role-play environment has it’s own bathroom and even a tot space for the littles to crawl on soft playables.
So much more!
This center is 30 years old but they’ve done a great job introducing entertaining exhibits to keep all kids engaged. Including outdoor play! We unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy the outside features since it was raining when we went. But check out their website for a full list of indoor and outdoor exhibits including the Water Works, Wetlands Boardwalk, Wings and Wheels, and the Shadow Room.
If you’ve read my review on the Adventure Science Center, then you know I’ve adopted a new lifestyle (or old, rather), where I tried not to engage my phone as much during adventures with my kids. I snapped a few photos here and there but these images do not due the Discovery Center justice. Check out their website and Facebook page for more info and photos.