The Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museum, A Local’s Review

I’m a mom with three kids, ages 10, 7, and 5. They are full of energy and always want to learn new things. We decided to purchase a family membership and joined The Discovery (Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum) in Reno, Nevada, and it’s been amazing!

The Discovery Museum

I’m sharing everything you need to know and our full review of  The Discovery in Reno, NV! All opinions below are our own – so without further ado, here’s our review of our experience and if a visit is worth it for your family.


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Location and Hours

The Discovery is in the middle of Reno at 490 S. Center Street, Reno, NV 89501.

It’s open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Tuesday to Sunday, and on Wednesdays, it stays open until 8:00 PM. On Wednesdays they open an hour early to those who are 5 and under!

It’s also open on Mondays during holidays and summer. It’s a good idea to check their website or call before going, just in case things change.

ADMISSION

GENERAL ADMISSION

$11 – Child (ages 1-5)
$14 – Youth (ages 6-17)
$16 – Adult
$15 – Senior (ages 65+)
Free – Under age 1

BONUS: Starting at 4:00pm every Wednesday, museum admission is just $5 per person! We have it listed on our FREE Community Calendar you can check out here!

Memberships

Memberships come with extra discounts and perks!  If you are local and love the museum as much as we do, we 100% a membership for your family! Members also get 15% off  birthday parties, educational programs and purchases in the Museum Store!

$60 – Individual
$85 – 2 adults or 1 adult 1 child
$135 – small family (2 adults, 2 children)
$185 – large family (2 adults, up to 6 children)

Parking

The museum offers a large parking lot directly next to it.  Parking is free for museum goers, no pass needed.

Activities at Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum

Activities

Inside the museum, we found lots of cool things to do. There are different exhibits for kids of all ages. Here are some of our favorites:

Cloud Climber

It’s a big climbing structure that goes up three floors. All of my kids absolutely love climbing the cloud together and with friends!

Truckee Connects

Truckee Connects is possibly my kids favorite exhibit. It is a fun interactive area that allows kids to learn about recreation, irrigation, hydroelectric power and more! Plan on your kids getting a little wet with this exhibit!

Pro Tip:  I have extra clothes in my care and have had to use them when my kids were younger after playing in the water area.

Inside Out

This exhibit is all about our bodies. My younger kids had fun crawling through a big heart, learning about digestion, and seeing a giant brain. It was really interesting!

The Shop

This exhibit lets my kids be creative and hands on. They can use tools, blocks, materials and more to build create with.  They also have staffed hours for guided activities!

Little Discoveries

Little discoveries is the perfect room dedicated to those 5 and under! It allows them to climb, build, and explore and has seating available for adults.

Other Exhibits

We have fun exploring all of the exhibits at the Discovery Museum, it’s hard to pick a favorite!  Here are just a few other they offer:

  • Energy/Energía
  • Mindbender Mansion
  • Da Vinci’s Corner
  • Art Alcove
Small Wonder Wednesday

Programs offered at The Discovery

Small Wonder Wednesday

One great program for moms with younger children is called Small Wonder Wednesday. It’s just for little kids, 5 and under. They can go to the museum for an hour before it opens to everyone else. There’s a mini art studio and a nature corner.

Camp Discovery

Another program is Camp Discovery. It’s for school aged children and happens during the summer. They learn about a variety of topics, do science experiments, and make friends. It’s really fun and you learn a lot!

21+ Programs

That’s right! The Discovery isn’t just for kids! They host a variety of events and programs for thos 21 and older!

Science Distilled

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) and The Discovery have made a special series of talks called Science Distilled for ages 21+. These talks are all about exciting science and are held in cool places where people can have fun together.

Social Science

Social Science is an exciting event series at The Discovery that grown-ups love! It’s all about learning cool things and having fun. At these events, you can watch science experiments, try out hands-on activities, listen to experts talk, dance to music from a DJ, enjoy yummy drinks, and eat tasty food.

Birthday Parties

You can host your next party at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum!  From weekday and weekends to exclusive and even a slumber party!

They have a variety of options available and if you are a member you get a discount!

Museum Store

The store at The Discovery has lots of cool stuff for you to choose from! They have toys, books, puzzles, games, and gifts that you can get to remember your visit. The store is also great for finding presents for birthdays, holidays, or whenever you want to give a special gift.

Tips for your Visit

Bring a Snack or Lunch

You can bring your own food to the museum. They have tables inside the entrance where you can sit and eat. It’s a good idea to have some yummy snacks or a packed lunch to keep you all energized during your visit.

Stroller and Babywear Friendly

The museum is both stroller and babywearing friendly.  They have an elevator if needed since the museum is 2 stories.

Recommended Ages

Honestly, the museum has something for all ages! I would say when your littles start walking they can start enjoy the museum!

I remember spending our first few years in the Discoveries room and loving it.  Now that my kids are older we are exploring the rest of the rooms and are getting even more out of our membership.

I personally have not attended any of their 21+ events, but would love to in the future.  It seems like a fun date night activity!

Take Your Time

The museum has lots of fun and interesting exhibits for you to discover. Take your time to explore and learn about different topics like science, art, and history.

My kids always want to race from one room to the other but I encourage them to take time in each room since we have a membership and can always come back.

Ask Questions

If you have any questions about what you see or want to know more about something, don’t be shy! There are staff members around who can help answer your questions and provide more information! I always encourage my kids to ask their questions to the staff.

Participate in Activities

The Discovery often has special activities or workshops that you can join. These might include art projects, science experiments, or games. Look at their schedule and try to plan to attend during those times.

Summer Camps

If you are interested in their summer camps, make sure to set an alarm and sign up right away.  They are very popular and fill up fast every year!

The Discovery, a Special Place

The Discovery is a special place for families. There’s something for everyone, from little kids to older ones. My children love the science part and as a homeschooling family so do I!

We always have a great time, and usually spend at least 3 hours with each visit! I love that it is a place where we can go have fun and always learn something new during our visit!

Co-Founder

Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the board for Northern Nevada Health Systems, and Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation, and she is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, exploring the outdoors, working out, local coffee shops, and dessert!