The Discovery Center is one of my son’s favorite places to go in Fresno. Located on 5 acres of land that was once a brandy distillery and donated to the children of Fresno to become a park, The Discovery Center allows children of all ages to engage in hands-on science learning and exploration – both indoors and out.
The Museum at the Discovery Center offers numerous exhibits including a life-size version of the game Operation, giant musical instruments, fossils, rocks, geodes, magnets and electricity demonstrations, frogs, sea creatures and much, more more. In the back of the museum, you can see many different kids of reptiles and creepy crawlers on display and learn about different mammals, their bones, footprints, teeth and eating habits. My son particularly enjoys watching me squirm over the giant cockroaches, but I learned from the volunteer docents that though they are huge – they are slow moving, which I’ll admit, does help me feel a little better!
Outside at the Center, you’ll find ponds you can go minnow catching or tadpole hunting in, ducks to feed, tortoises to observe, a maze to wander through, a beautiful succulent garden, a giant T-rex (don’t worry, he’s a statue and won’t eat your toddlers – but you can threaten that if they’re giving you lots of attitude that day… I’ll leave that judgment call to you), and even a worm farm! The Discovery Center is truly a magical place for exploration and letting children use all their senses to learn about the world around them. It’s a place where touching things is mostly ok, which makes parenting easier and families more relaxed.
This September, The Discovery Center is inviting families to come help them feed the animals from 12pm – 2pm on Saturdays. There are so many different types of animals, this is bound to be a fun experience. Kids will learn about carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and insectivores while feeding the animals, so it’s educational too! (No food from home please, food will be available at the Center.)
The Discovery Center is located at 1944 N. Winery in Fresno and is open Tuesday through Sunday. The Park area is $5 per car (up to 5 people) and the Museum is $8 for adults, $6 for children. The Park is open 10am to 4pm weekdays, and the Museum is open 10am – 2pm Tuesday through Friday and 12pm to 4pm on weekends.