I’ve been hearing so many good things about Discovery Playhouse here in #DowntownCG. Several people within the community kept saying how impressed they were by the cleverness and creativity of the exhibits. Out of curiosity, I decided to do some Facebook research, and I was highly intrigued by the summer camps and videos of science lab demonstrations offered there.
However, when I decided to visit the children’s museum, I was somewhat nervous. I have not been around kids very much and they kind of terrify me! Even though I’m not the biggest fan of children, I still had a blast at my visit to Discovery Playhouse. If I had the place to myself, I honestly could have played in the exhibits for hours!
All of the exhibits were so engaging because they exercised your brain in an easy-going and active way. Some of the most popular exhibits are the ones that introduce the children to normal, everyday tasks. I think the bank, grocery store, and doctor’s office exhibits really appeal to kids because it gives them a sense of independence and confidence to do “big kid” things.
How Discovery Playhouse Got Started
Discovery Playhouse began as a dreamed-up idea that came out of Leadership Cape, a program through the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce that creates opportunities for both community and professional growth. The concept of a children’s museum went over so well that exhibits were set up in the mall in 2006. By 2010, Discovery Playhouse needed a bigger space, so they moved to their current location downtown at 502 Broadway. Ironically, this building was previously used as a night club, but being downtown has really worked in the favor of Discovery Playhouse! Museum director, Molly Wilhelm, says their location sets them apart from similar places throughout the country that are typically set up on the outskirts of their cities. Discovery Playhouse is right in the middle of the action of Downtown Cape.
Discovery Playhouse fosters a sense of community by coordinating with SEMO and hiring many students seeking degrees in education and other child-related areas of study. The workers, with help from local sponsors, create a wide array of exhibits that range from classic favorites to those inspired by pop culture. Some exhibits include a comprehensive art studio, a theater stage with costumes for dress-up, a fire station complete with a fire truck cab, and even an American Ninja Warrior course! This business plan is win-win situation for the museum and sponsors with such a unique form of advertising.
Special Days & Events
Sensory Afternoons: Mondays 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.; low lights & calming music are perfect for kids of all ages who need a less-intense environment to play
Night at the Museum: The next one is July 20th from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; this month is a space theme that showcases the Planetarium exhibit
Summer Camps: Throughout the month of July; for all ages and interests that want something fun to do this summer; sign-up fast before space runs out