Capital Campaign



Ready, Set, Build! Building for kids, families, and the future in 2017

This year, The Discovery Museums will completely renovate and expand the Science Discovery Museum building!  Over six months, new spaces will be created for playing, learning, and exploring, and the entire structure, top to bottom, will be accessible, incorporating universal design principles. The classic Discovery Museums exhibits you know and love the most will be made accessible and reinstalled, and we’ll add wonderful new exhibit spaces focusing on early childhood, inventing/tinkering, math, water, and air. 

We know that you care about this place, and what happens to it. Our new building is just a space, our new exhibits just a tool for learning. The Discovery Museums’ heart and soul and philosophy and “feel”—well, we are as committed as you to keeping those the same! 

We ask every person whose life has been touched by The Discovery Museums to make a special investment in its future. The size of the gift is not important—what is important is that this building reflect the support and love of its entire community. 




Help us change a lot—and, not at all!

The "new" museum will look different, but we won’t have changed. We will continue to:

  • Celebrate play, because play matters. The museum will continue to be a safe and stimulating place for playing, exploring and growing.
  • Use real stuff as a basis for learning. Our fire alarms need to have signs that say “This is REAL! Please don’t touch this!” because everything else is meant to be hands-on and many exhibits are built from things you might find at home.
  • Stand up for science. Our work will continue to be rooted in the knowledge that exposing kids to STEM ideas at an early age lets them know that exploration, research, inquiry, testing can produce answers to the world’s questions, both small and large. 
  • Stand up for kids—all kids. We will make sure that every kid can have a Discovery Museum experience, regardless of a family’s ability to pay or the child’s learning differences.

Click to learn more about the exhibits in our new building. 


Frequently Asked Questions—and answers!

If you don't see your question answered below, please email

What will happen to the Children’s museum building? 
The Children’s Discovery Museum will close for regular use when our new, unified building opens in December 2017. We are excited to plan for repurposing the building and we will have more to report as plans develop. 

Will the room with the balls and ramps (Chain Reaction Room) be in the new building?
We will have a balls-and-ramps exhibit in the new building, in a room that explores all simple machines.

Which other exhibits from the Children’s museum building will be in the new museum?
Every experience in the current Children’s Discovery Museum—balls and ramps, water, air, Bessie’s Diner, the Ship Room, trains, light & color, Backyard at Night—will exist in the new building. Along with what will become new favorites!

Will most of the exhibits in the Science Discovery Museum be preserved?
We have two key goals for our exhibit renovation: to preserve the qualities that have made the current exhibits successful and to ensure that they meet standards of accessibility. With even more exhibit space, the building will have a great mix of old favorites and new experiences done in that Discovery Museums’ style.

Will you be able to preserve the cozy, intimate spaces of the Children’s museum that my toddler loves?
Within the new building will be what we are calling Bessie’s House: a 2-floor space enclosed in a replica façade of the Children’s Discovery Museum. Inside Bessie’s House will be reimagined versions of visitor-favorite exhibits, sized for toddlers and fully accessible, including Bessie’s Diner, Backyard at Night, the Ship Room, and the Train Room. Exhibits for water, air, and simple machines will be elsewhere in the building. And a brand-new exhibit, Brain Building Zone, will be a dedicated, intimate and cozy space for infants and toddler and their parents to explore together.  

What will happen to Bessie the dinosaur?
Bessie will remain where she is, and will continue to be available for photo opps! ;) 

What are the best things about this building project?
Our physical capacity will double—goodbye wait lists!  Our building will be friendly to all kids—and to parents with strollers.  And our exhibits will be more vivid, more inclusive, even more powerfully engaging and demonstrative than ever before!

Please help us spread the word!

  • Since 2013, 137 donors to the Campaign for The Discovery Museums have quietly contributed more than $8 million, toward a goal of $8.4 million, to help this well-loved treasure grow and provide the access, amenities, and updated experiences its visitors deserve. 
  • In combination, the Campaign and our annual fund have over the last two years been supported by only 300 individual, incredibly generous donors.  We were visited by 195,000 people in 2016.
  • This is an important moment for the Museums and our community—the expansion of our building will allow us not only to increase service to our existing visitors, but to welcome and better serve all members of our community.
  • With the help of each person who values The Discovery Museums, we will ensure a healthy and bright future for our museum and all the children and families we support.


We would be honored to have your support.