Online Staff Report
Rockford’s Discovery Center Museum experienced a new record for public attendance at the museum.
The museum welcomed 110,458 visitors through its doors in 2014, a 4.4 percent increase over last year, and the highest public attendance number in its history. This number does not include school groups visiting on field trips or outreach … simply families coming to enjoy the museum.
Discovery Center also experienced an increase in the number of children and families it serves through its Discovery on Wheels outreach program. Discovery Center takes its programs on the road to regional schools and libraries. In 2014, the museum brought its hands-on classes, assembly programs, Family Fun programs and portable planetarium to almost 21,000 students … a 20 percent increase from 2013.
“We are very proud of our museum,” said Mike Rathbun, associate director of Discovery Center Museum. “Our staff works hard to provide quality exhibits and programs to children and families, whether they visit our museum or enjoy one of our outreach programs.”
Discovery Center education staff travel frequently into the Chicago suburbs, southern Wisconsin and down to schools and libraries as far south as Interstate 80.
In 2002, Child magazine ranked Discovery Center fourth in the first-ever survey to identify the 10 best children’s museums in the nation. Then in 2009, Discovery Center was included in the book The Ten Best of Everything: Families in the category of children’s museums. In January 2012, Discovery Center was named one of Forbes.com’s “12 Best Children’s Museums in the Nation.” In February 2014, Discovery Center earned fifth place in the USA Today/10Best.com Readers’ Choice contest for “Best Museum for Families.”
Discovery Center Museum is a non-profit organization providing hands-on math, science and art experiences for all ages with more than 250 hand-on exhibits, planetarium, special area for children younger than 5, and an outdoor science park.
The museum is inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. General admission is $8 adults, $8 children (ages 2 to 17) and free to museum members and children age 1 and younger. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily.
For more information, call (815) 963-6769 or visit www.discoverycentermuseum.org.
Posted Jan. 23, 2015