Lied Discovery Children’s Museum: Where Families Have Fun Together in Las Vegas

Lisa Fritscher September 19, 2011 No Comments

Lied Discovery Childrens Museum

The interesting building is eye-catching

In our travels, Dad and I have seen a lot of museums. From dusty cubbyholes established in the Civil War era to modern wonderlands packed with the latest technology, each museum has its own special charm. But very few manage to keep the entire family engaged. Children’s museums, by definition, are geared toward very young kids. For parents, the fun is in watching their kids’ enjoyment. But at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas, we watched multiple generations having fun together.

About the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum activities

Even the adults got caught up in the activities

Established in September 1990 on Las Vegas Boulevard North, the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum provides 23,000 square feet of exhibits. Different sections focus on art, culture and science, and each area is carefully designed to promote interaction between children and adults.

As of 2011, adult admission is $9.50. Children aged 1-17 pay $8.50, while infants under a year old are free. During the school year, the museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9-4, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. It is closed on Mondays except during local school holidays. During the summer, the museum is open Monday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5.

Our Experience

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum First Floor

The first-floor exhibits are geared toward younger children

For this article, Dad and I received an early morning tour, before the museum opened to the public. This gave us the opportunity to take unobstructed photos and chat with the director of Public Relations. Once the museum opened for the day, we took some time to check out the various exhibits and watch families enjoy their experience.

The museum is divided into two floors. The first level focuses on the arts and humanities, providing opportunities for creative expression. Signage at the exhibits is generally geared toward parents or caregivers, providing ideas for activities that the family can do together.

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum Town Center

The Town Center was packed with things to do

We were particularly struck by how well the first-floor exhibits addressed the needs of kids of different ages. For example, the mock grocery store offers a wide range of “shopping lists,” divided by suggested age group. Younger kids are instructed to find something red or something from the dairy group, while older kids can try their hand at budgeting or meal planning.

Desert Discovery, located on the first floor, is open only to kids aged 5 and under and their accompanying adults. The activities here are carefully geared to the youngest children, and the separated area provides them a safe place to play without worrying about older kids taking over.

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum Science Exhibits

Some of the science exhibits reminded me of my own childhood

The second floor focuses on science and technology and is primarily geared towards elementary school-aged children. The interactive exhibits require some basic reading and the subject matter is a bit more complex. Many of the displays reminded me of my own childhood, when Dad took me to Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry on a nearly weekly basis.

Numerous talks, activities and special events are presented at the museum. We watched an incredibly cute presentation on digestion that used Stuffee, the museum’s giant stuffed mascot. Pick up a daily schedule and a museum map when you purchase your tickets.

People-watching was particularly fun. On more than one occasion, we saw adults raptly focused on a particular game or activity while their kids played nearby. Dad and I ended up spending longer than we anticipated, as we got kind of involved in some activities ourselves.

Tips for Parents

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum Second Floor

The second floor offers somewhat more complex concepts

Carve out plenty of time for your visit. Although an adult could hit the highlights in an hour or so, your kids will want to play. If you can spare the time, plan for at least half a day. The snack area offers reasonably filling items and a comfortable spot to take a break.

The project workshops are open on the weekends and are divided by age, with younger kids downstairs and older children on the second floor. The workshops give kids the opportunity to collaborate with others on an art or science-based project.

Follow your kids’ lead. Some children are naturally more interested in nature or technology or the arts. Encourage them to try new things, but allow them to focus on the activities that naturally draw their attention.

avatarAbout the Author:

Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

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