Don't miss the Museum's latest program for children under 8 and their grownups. Offered Saturdays & Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and Mondays at 9:30 a.m. this spring, on the Shapiro Family Science Live Stage (Green Wing, Lower Level). Learn More.
Designed for children from birth to age eight and their accompanying grownups, the Discovery Center offers an assortment of fun, hands-on activities that are designed to encourage discovery through play. An ideal area for early learners, this educational environment emphasizes the use of real objects with an extensive teaching collection for exploring natural history, physical science, and technology topics.
The Discovery Center's fanciful exhibit environments enhance the learning, and the fun! Young visitors and their grownups can "become a geologist" at the Geology Field Station, or go to work as a "marine biologist" on the Coral Reef Boat. Children five years and younger can become a "honey bee" at the Bee Hive, or play "birds" at the Robin's Nest in our Children's Gallery.
A core staff of interpreters enhances the learning process by inspiring curiosity and wonder. Young scientists can put an animal skeleton together, touch a real fossil, or observe a variety of live animals up close. The "Experiment Station" offers a rotating schedule of science experiments and engineering challenges, and "Discovery Boxes" offer families with young children an in-depth exploration of specific science topics.
The exhibit is also a unique venue for examining how young children and their caregivers learn from each other through inquiry and play. The Discovery Center collaborates with local researchers from Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern University, Boston College, Tufts University and Boston Children's Hospital to bring current research in cognitive development onto the exhibit floor via the Living Lab program.
The Discovery Center is open daily, 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., and until 7:30 p.m. on Friday evenings. During the summer and school vacation weeks, hours are extended; see the Young Children's Community Calendar (at right) or call 617-589-0433 for more information.
Please note: the Discovery Center has a limited capacity. On busy holiday and vacation days, wait times for entry can reach up to an hour. Try visiting after 3pm during the busy school vacation week to ensure access to your favorite activities. The Discovery Center's "Experiment Station" sometimes close earlier than the rest of the exhibit during vacation weeks and holidays.