By Elizabeth Conway, Development Coordinator for Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, GreenTree Board Member
As children enter the museum their eyes gleam with excitement. Smiles and laughter are contagious here! These unforgettable moments when new connections are made, dreams seem reachable, and experiences spark a child’s creativity and curiosity, are forever priceless. Family memories are sketched here and an enthusiasm for lifelong learning is established. This happiness and cultivation of knowledge takes place each and every day.
The mission of the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum (MPDM) is to spark creativity, nourish learning, and inspire curiosity of children through self-directed discovery in an engaging, hands-on environment. Our children’s museum engages over 650 members and over 40,000 visitors a year and is accessible to families in a six-county region that includes Isabella, Clare, Gratiot, Midland, Mecosta, and Montcalm counties.
In an increasingly complex world, MPDM provides a place where all kids can learn through play with the caring adults in their lives. Our museum helps strengthen the Mid-Michigan communities we serve by emphasizing child-directed, hands-on learning experiences. These experiences encourage self-discovery and the introduction of educational ideals. Instead of materials of interest being behind glass, children are encouraged to use their senses as they discover – “please touch” dictates the entire design. In addition to the open museum, MPDM also provides weekly programming such as Loony Tunes and Kids at Art. There are monthly programs such as Science Sundays and Special Night for Special Needs, and we also host birthday parties and field trips for schools, churches and other groups.
MPDM has many exhibits and programs that have an emphasis on early learning in math, science, and the fine arts. Our educational exhibits include:
Beemazium: The Beemazium is one of our largest exhibits. Museum visitors can dress like honeybees and bee keepers, gather pollen and honeycomb, work in our giant bee hive, and sell bottled honey in our market exhibit. We even have a live bee hive on display!
- Water Works: In this popular exhibit, visitors can launch balls into the air and control the flow of water, giving young people the opportunity for inquiry-based experimentation.
- Exploratorium: Our Exploratorium allows children to use their imagination and create such things as a rocket ship that can be launched across the museum using the rocket launcher. Additionally, we have a workshop filled with bins of spare parts, project tables, magnets, gears, and various instruments for exploration.
- One World Cultural Exhibit: MPDM’s “One World” exhibit highlights Mt. Pleasant’s Sister City, Okaya, Japan and Japanese culture. In this exhibit, visitors of all ages are able to explore Hiragana, the first writing system taught to children in Japan, by making rubbings of kana signs from the Hiragana alphabet, learn about Zen gardening, and explore life in traditional and modern day Japan.
- Farmers Market and Eat Right Smoothies: Visitors can use their math skills to learn how to buy fresh produce at the market and create healthy smoothies at the Eat Right Smoothie station.
- Baby Carrots: This space is especially designated for our littlest visitors. In the Baby Carrots exhibit, we encourage little ones to explore life on the farm, plant a garden, gather eggs, or go fishing.
- Music Fusion: MPDM’s Music Fusion room provides visitors with a number of interesting musical instruments, including an Amadinda, Chimosaur, drums, maracas, tambourines, and more.
- Friendship Field: Coming soon! MPDM is excited about the grand opening of our outdoor exhibit, Friendship Field, this summer.
The Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum is open from 9am-5:30pm Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, from 9am-8:30pm on Friday, and 12pm-5:30pm on Sunday. Admission is $7 per person and we offer an array of membership opportunities that include “Just the Two of Us” for one child and one adult, “The Brady Bunch” for two adults and up to four children, and “A Grand Time” for up to two grandparents and four children. Each membership provides unlimited admission for the year and the ability to customize. For more information, visit our website or call (989)317-3221.
As a Community Partner of GreenTree Co-op the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum offers a 5% discount on all purchases from the Discovery Store to Co-op Owners. You can view a full list of our Community Partners and their special offers here.