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Adventure Hill & Fun New Things to Explore at Discovery Museum

Discovery Woods, Fairyborough and Adventure HillAdventure Hill  Fun New Things to Explore at Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museum in Acton just keeps getting better & better.  In addition to the multitude of interactive exhibits inside the Discovery Museum; the outdoor exploration area called Discovery Woods features imaginative places like Fairyborough, the amazing Discovery Treehouse, and of course, the newly opened Adventure Hill. 

Photo Credit: Jessica Cronin

Adventure Hill

Adventure Hill is attached to the 550 sq. ft Discovery Treehouse by a Wiggly Bridge that leads to an Observation Deck.  The outdoor exhibit includes numerous connected elements including a Fort, Platform, Tunnel, Rock Climb, Stone Scramble, and a Slide - all designed to be accessible by the widest range of people and abilities. 

The addition of Adventure Hill inspires kids to  climb, slide, observe, balance, and explore the outdoors, all while surrounded by a stunning naturescape. 

Photo Credit: Jessica Cronin

The Great Outdoors

Discovery Woods is simply a wonderful place in metrowest Boston to bring children of all ages play and explore the outdoors. 

The thoughtfully designed Discovery Treehouse is a wonder in and of itself. It’s big and open and filled with all sorts of wonder - including quirky kid sized windows for viewing, and cozy nooks for sharing  stories, and tables & chairs for cool nature workshops inside.

Outside the treehouse is a pedestrian deck that overlooks a natural playground that is nicely shaded by a tree canopy, and filled with features that spark the imagination.  

Photo courtesy of Discovery Museum

Wooden forts (or 'Beaver Lodges') are perfect spots for exploring, and the bouncy cargo net is fun to walk and roll and balance on, as if you were a real bug or a spider.  Parents can relax and watch from real log benches.

Photo Credit: Jessica Cronin

Kids of all ages just love the cozy nest swing that can hold from one to up to several children at a time - the circular structure encourages sky viewing, giant swing arcs and lots of giggles.   

Billowy fabric pieces waft in the wind atop a wooden platform that makes for a natural stage, or a place to take a rainbow flight into daydreams. It's really a pleasure to watch the creativity bloom in this natural playscape.  

Photo Credit: Jessica Cronin

Throughout the year, families can enjoy daily programming both indoors and out, that ranges from Everyday Engineering and Take Aparts Potluck, to a visit from Abby the service dog, and engaging workshops about honey bees. 

One of the biggest hits of the year during the early summer months includes the special 'Dirtopia' event - where kids get to climb and play around in a giant dirt pile that museum trucks in. Not many can resist - it’s good clean fun!

Inside the Museum

Moving indoors to the Discovery Museum itself, the venue features 3 floors filled with interactive exhibits that include everything from water, air, sound, light, physics, math, music, imagination & more. 

Exhibits, many new and some reimagined from the two original museums, have been deftly combined into one beautiful space for all ages to play and explore.  Inside, you'll find many hands-on experiences for young learners & toddlers, as well as new galleries of STEAM experiences that are suitable for children of all ages. 

Some of our favorite exhibits include the Light & Color Gallery where you can make shadow patterns, and manipulate rays of colored light with mirrors and lenses,;and the Amazing Airways exhibit that features a 13’-foot-tall air-powered, interactive sculpture of tubes and blowers.  Kids of all ages really enjoy these.

Photo Credit: Jessica Cronin

The Pendulux, (an upgraded  carryover from the old science museum) creates insanely interesting shapes by using the arc of a swinging light pendulum suspended over a rotating platter of phosphorescent material.

The Simple Machine Gallery, includes a nifty magnetic ball & ramp wall where you can create elaborate ball runs, and chain reactions with magnetic tracks and tubes, and then watch a ball follow the path that you designed.   

Photo Courtesy of Discovery Museum

Another big hit is the Bricks, Sticks & Arches room where you can really get creative with fort building.  The giant soft block structures make it fun to test the limits of what you can build and to learn the structural concepts of a keystone.  Bricks, Sticks, & Arches is an exhibit in the changing Community Gallery, and rotates in with a number of other engaging exhibits. 

Photo Credit: Holly Solomita

New in September - Caterpillars! 

For instance, after Labor Day, visitors can look forward to to a brand-new caterpillar exhibit in this space called Caterpillars: Life on the Leaf Edge.  The exhibit will explore the world of our local caterpillars, (with live caterpillars on site from Wednesday - Sunday), providing lots of hands-on activities inspired by these fascinating creatures.

Kids of all ages will be able learn all about metamorphosis, and the interesting ways that caterpillars can camouflage themselves.  This is a great opportunity to observe and even hold a number of caterpillars that are native to the New England area from Sept. 11 - Oct. 6.  

A few remnants of the old museums have been integrated into the new space as well, including the beloved Train & Ship rooms, Bessie’s Diner & Kitchen area, and a small version of the Victorian House that used to house the original Discovery Museum.   

Accessibility

Discovery Museum, the Discovery Treehouse, the nature playscape, are all accessible; and  Adventure Hill was developed based on Universal Design Principles to be usable by the widest range of people and abilities.  

In addition, the museum frequently hosts “Especially For Me” events that offer dedicated hours and free museum admission for families facing developmental challenges; providing an opportunity for families to network with one another in an understanding environment. 

Photo credit: IG superparents.br.usa 

Ways to Save

In addition to free Friday nights, you can can also save on admission with Library Passes, which allow for half price admission for up to 3 people.  You can reserve a pass at your local library. In addition to library passes, the museum also offers free $1 Anytime Admission for EBT and WIC cardholders and up to 5 additional guests. Teachers, active duty military, and kids under 1 are always free.

Discovery Museum
177 Main Street (Route 27)
Acton, Massachusetts 01720
Phone: 978-264-4200
https://www.discoveryacton.org/