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Children's Discovery museum in Bloomington is way cool!

Kids learn about farming hands on
Cindy Ladage

It is summer time and the kiddos are out of school. The big question now is what to do and what can you do that will help the brain cells from turning to mush? If traveling to the Bloomington Normal, Illinois area, you might want to think about loading up the gang and taking them to the truly interactive Children's Discovery Museum.

While geared more towards the younger crowd the museum is a happening place. If you are hoping your children can learn a bit about the concept of farming, the display is amazing and very educational while still being fun. With central Illinois being the bread basket of America, the Children’s Discovery Museum sets out their farm experience on the second floor. “Inspiring learning through the power of play” is how they describe the chance for kids to pick up knowledge about new things.
There is a tractor for little ones to climb up in the seat and drive. They have a red tractor and a green combine so the museum is multi-brand friendly! One exhibit takes a combine and shows how the insides work. At the same time little ones can climb into the driver’s seat and get a chance to experience farming 101. On the front of the combine, a corn head is set up to gather the corn that will soon be separated in the combine. This bird’s eye view is what the farmer would see during harvest time. As parents read about what’s inside a combine it provides them as well as their child information about workings of this intricate machine.
A grain cart is also included in the farming experience along with a grain bin to offer insight into grain storage. “Grain is stored in a grain bin until it’s sold,” the sign explains.

An auger is set up to the grain bin and children can place balls in the auger and see how grain flows through the auger into the bin. This was a popular stop that many children did again and again.

A grain processing plant display shows the end of the grain story from seed to product.

Livestock is also included in the overview with a chance for children to see how a cow is milked with a very real looking milking machine. The machine hooks up to the cow and shows how milk then flows into containers. This is just a small part of this three-story museum where touching the exhibits is actually encouraged. The first floor offers Healthy Kids-Healthy Future, featuring a Fresh Market and Healthy Pizza Cafe; Way to Go; and Dig It! the museum's first outdoor exhibit as well as create a masterpiece in the Art Studio or gigantic Paint Wall, climb the two-story Luckey Climber, and participate in an array of free science activities offered daily in the Museum's FETCH!" Lab.

The museum is all about learning and they offer the Innovation Station is a platform to engage children and families in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Your children will learn these subjects through innovative, hands-on learning experiences

The museum is open now on Monday’s and during the summer. Regular hours are Tuesday and Wednesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday and Friday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday: 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Call (309) 433-3444 for details, or log onto their website at

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