The new Las Vegas Discovery Children’s Museum (formerly the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum) will be opening March 9th but today we had the great fortune of taking part in a member preview of the museum! Located right next to the Smith Center, the new museum has so many neat details inside that I tried to capture with my little phone camera so I wanted to share them. For example, the railing in the picture above is from the courtyard by the museum, I love the detail in the design that looks like children with their arms reaching upward.
We hadn’t received a confirmation e-mail for our RSVP so we arrived half an hour early and let the kids run around in front of Reynolds Hall. It was a gorgeous day, albeit a little windy. My husband and I had been to Symphony Park just the day before to catch West Side Story at the Smith Center but we don’t usually get to explore when we’re there for a performance.
I will never tire of taking pictures of the Smith Center. I’m so proud of Las Vegas for Symphony Park and the offerings there so far!
We made our way back to the entrance of the museum and a line had formed so we knew it was time to wait instead of playing on the grass. The kids did pretty well, actually, with the waiting. The day before we’d been at “Touch a Truck” over by The Orleans and they’d surprised me with their patience while waiting to go on the garbage truck. I was getting really excited to see the museum myself and it did not disappoint.
They have screens up showing the pricing and it now reflects that ages 1-99 are $12 per person which is a change from their previous pricing and it looks like their packages for memberships have changed as well. I wanted to talk to someone about party pricing and was told they’re already taking reservations for parties but by then it was lunch time for the kids and we needed to leave. The member preview did offer food but not really anything safe aside from a bit of the fruit and I was also told that while we used to be able to bring our lunches to the museum they have adopted a no outside food policy for guests as well as for any parties or events. Good to know so that I can plan accordingly.
These kites are suspended over the entry area to the left of check-in/ticketing – I love the playful colors that seemed bright and energetic without being cloying as multi-colored decor can sometimes be when people are decorating for children.
There was an area for pretend play, so you had a pirate ship, a castle, and even a dress-up stage on the first floor.
We didn’t go into toddler town but it was adjacent to the fantasy area and the water play area.
I snapped a picture of some of the dress up options inside the castle…
…and her’s another picture of the pirate ship. It was a packed museum, all three floors, but everyone was just excited and friendly so it all worked out.
Our kids did not want to leave each area we explored, especially the water play section which is a huge improvement over the one in the previous museum location.
Lots of splashing so pack a change of clothes for your kids or take advantage of some of the ponchos they have in the area.
I’m not sure if the ponchos will be a regular feature but then again in the summer it won’t be too difficult to pop outside to dry off before returning to the museum to play.
They had no maps available yet so I got a few shots of the one on the wall just to share so I apologize if any of the exhibit names are hard to make out.
The details were amazing and lovingly done. I snapped this photo on the second floor.
The area I think we’ll spend the most time at in the future has to be “Young at Art” – there are all forms of media for cutting, pasting, crayon rubbing, and even digital painting. It took a while to convince the kids to move on!
The museum has an elevator and regular stairs but through the center of the building is a staircase of sorts that lets you play, slide, and make music all the way to the top.
The very top was not yet open but should be soon. I love the pinpoints of lights that reminded me of stars.
Other areas include a mystery town where you can use various clues (such as those using morse code) to solve a crime.
I was extremely worried the car exhibit we knew and loved in the old museum would not be at the new museum but the spirit of it lived on in Eco City!
The Smiths store in Eco City was another familiar find though slightly updated.
Next to the Smiths and Findlay Car Care area was a construction zone (foam blocks), an animal clinic, airport, and a mini Jamba Juice complete with counter and pretend food for serving to patrons.
What a treat it will be to continue exploring all the museum’s offerings in the coming months and years. If you are even just visiting Las Vegas with your children in tow I have to say this is a world class museum and worth the price of admission. I’m gushing, I know, but the museum exceeded our expectations and then some. The best thing of all is that the friendly staff and volunteers are just as wonderful as they were at the old location and their enthusiasm and excitement for their new home shows.