Discovery Room at the St. Louis Science Center for Kids

Discovery Room at St. Louis Science Center
Photo by Deborah O'Brien

The St. Louis Science Center has plenty of activities for kids and adults of all ages, but for its youngest visitors, the Discovery Room is the place to be. If you have a toddler or child in elementary school, be sure to visit the Discovery Room the next time you're at the Science Center.

What Is the Discovery Room?

The Discovery Room is a play area set up specifically for children ages one to eight years old. The room's full of age-appropriate toys, games, and experiments. It's an enclosed room with a door so parents don't have to worry about kids running off in all directions. Play sessions in the Discovery Room are limited to 50 people. This gives younger kids more space to play when the rest of the Science Center gets a little too crowded. Parents must accompany their children, but there are Science Center staff and volunteers to help supervise and make sure everyone's having a good time.

The Big Exhibits

Workers at the Science Center have recently renovated the Discovery Room with brand new exhibits. The room is divided into three areas: nature, water, and sky. The nature area has a hollowed out tree that kids can go inside. There's a woodland animal clinic where children can pretend to be veterinarians. There are also animal costumes, a shadow-theater and musical instruments made from items found in nature.

The water area features the always popular water table where kids can create their own river maze for their favorite floating toy. This area is also where you'll find the 270-gallon saltwater aquarium filled with exotic fish.

The sky area is all about exploring space and the worlds beyond our own. The biggest attraction is the two-story rocket with computerized control panels and an emergency escape slide. Young astronomers can also create constellations, play at the moonscape table and learn all about the phases of the moon.

The Small Stuff

If that isn't enough, there are dozens of smaller toys and activities to keep children busy. The room is filled with puzzles, magnets, balls, and blocks for all kinds of creative play. Brave visitors of all ages can get a close-up look at the Madagascar hissing cockroach. For those in the mood for quieter activities, there are books to read and markers for coloring. There are also several computers throughout the room for kids who like science-minded computer games.

Times & Tickets

You do need tickets to get into the Discovery Room. Children and adults have to pay for tickets, but kids under 2 get in free. Discounted rates are also available for members of the military and groups of ten or more. The Discovery Room is open for 45-minute sessions every hour, starting at 10 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and starting at noon on Sunday. The sessions are filled with a flurry of activity and go by quickly, but that just leaves plenty of time to explore the other things the St. Louis Science Center has to offer.

More Ideas for Parents of Young Kids

The Discovery Room is one option for parents of young children in St. Louis. The Creation Station at the Transportation Museum is another fun play area worth checking out. And don't forget about the Children's Zoo at the St. Louis Zoo or Toddler Town at the City Museum in downtown St. Louis.