Museum of Discovery
With just under a century having passed since its foundation, the Museum of Discovery is the oldest museum in all of Little Rock. First founded to counteract the “bumpkin” stereotype that states like Arkansas had sadly begun to accumulate, the Museum of Natural History and Antiquities, as it was originally called, started life with a handsome collection of taxidermy specimens and an unusually diverse selection of historical artefacts from a variety of cultural contexts.
On the Christmas of 1929, founder Bernie Babcock handed ownership of the museum over to the city; and ever since, it became a staple of the city’s public services, and has since developed renown across the state, the museum’s Visitor Experience Director even being featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Moving locations three times throughout its life before setting up in its current location at the River Market, the museum is the perfect stopover for visitors, especially families looking to give the kids some fun insight into the wonders of science, technology, and natural history.
The only non-commercial source of scientific and technological information in the area, the Museum of Discovery runs a number of programmes dedicated to fostering family education. The Wiggle Worms programme, for instance, offers children under 6 a fun and interactive way to learn scientific facts; and the annual Tinkerfest gives guests of all ages the opportunity to find their inner engineer or artist by crafting everything from solar-powered robots to pixel art from raw materials. Oh, and there’s a fair few different events dedicated specifically to their dinosaur exhibits, catering to a great variety of ages. Because, let’s be honest, no matter what age you are, you’re never too old to learn a little bit more about dinosaurs.
Moreover, in honour of founder Babcock’s intention to bolster the educational resources of Little Rock, the museum also makes regular efforts to raise funds for educational purposes, running donation campaigns to offer resources and support to disadvantaged local students. It’s one of the many ways in which this museum serves not only as a place to peruse some of the wonders of the natural and scientific world, but also as a hub of the community, nurturing the development and knowledge of the new generation.
Beloved among local and visiting families alike, the Museum of Discovery is a must-see on your family’s trip to Little Rock. After all, just because you’re on holiday, that hardly means that the education has to come to an end.
Looking for outdoor fun? Visit Riverfront Park.