Discovery museum

7 Awesome Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum Tips You Should Know Before You Go

Parents know that rainy days with toddlers can be a challenge. You wake up, meet their basic needs, and then a decision has to be made quickly. Do we stay home and risk imploding or pile into the car and try something new?

No fuss. Always spare your home! Protect the home front! Remember, you have allies in Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum and, speaking of habitats, at least a couple to choose from when you visit.

photo via the Mt Pleasant Discovery Center Facebook page

Memories of a rainy day with the family

My sister and I with our children (collectively four kids aged 5 and under) were visiting grandparents in Gladwin when such a rainy day hit us. With so many little ones under one roof that wasn’t even ours, the pressure to find something to do was great.

To our surprise, we just couldn’t find anything to do. We would find something that would be enjoyable for all.

Enter the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum

A quick Google search for kid-friendly activities in Mid-Michigan turned up the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum (MPDM) in the top five results. The good reviews from Google and the easy-to-navigate, decent-looking website left us confident that MPDM would satisfy our youngsters.

The property has a welcoming feel from the start with large windows, barn red paint, and stone accents. Friendly staff greeted us, but the kids were ready to go! A pun that you will quickly understand, but before, you had to buy tickets.

Awesomemitten Mpdm 1200W

Ticket prices and museum for all discounts

A daily pass costs $8 per person, however, several discounts are available as well as membership options.

The Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum is proud to be a member of an initiative called Museums for All. This program allows it to offer eligible families admission for just $3 per person for up to four people.

I had never heard of Museums for All, but I find their mission to encourage lifelong museum habits for everyone to be a noble pursuit. I was happy to see MPDM participate in such efforts.

Let children explore in all directions

Alright, it’s launch time. The children took off like rockets and in different directions! It seems they don’t know any other way, am I right, parents and grandparents? (I hope it’s not just me…)

Luckily we had one adult per child, a rare treat it seems. Two mothers, a father and a grandmother for four children.

A pro tip that everyone knows: never be outnumbered with children.

A lesser-known pro tip – If you’re lucky enough to have a 1:1 ratio, assign which child goes with whom IN ADVANCE! A lesson we struggled with in the early stages of MPDM as there was so much to see and explore.

Crafting and building in the Exploratorium

Children often do an initial survey of the terrain, so to speak, before settling in a spot to enjoy extended play. It was all the bit of rockets in different directions that I mentioned earlier. Well, this part also serves as a good transition to The Exploratorium exhibit.

This Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum attraction is where kids (or, in our case, grandma) can build things using common craft tools like paper, tape, scissors, etc Ideally, MPDM would like you to build a rocket so you can use their air rocket launcher.

It would be super cool for slightly older kids (or, you know, Grandma – I said MPDM was fun for everyone!). Unfortunately, that wasn’t a big draw for our busy 5-and-under bees.

Keep busy in the Beemazium

Our busy little bees have done it, wait for it, BEELINE at the Beemazium exhibits several times!

Was it too much? Personally, I think I’m getting pretty good at segues and jokes, but I haven’t reached my sweet spot yet… ba-dum-bum! Thank you for bearing with me even in STICKY situations. Okay, that last corny joke wasn’t my fault. It practically wrote itself.

About the Beemazium – kids really enjoy this playscape, and it’s the biggest exhibit at the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum. It’s a giant beehive with several levels to explore as if you were a real worker bee.

Whether your little bee is crawling through pool noodles that mimic stamens – the part of a flower made up of filaments and anthers that contain pollen – or crawling around in hexagonal fluff in the shape of honeycombs, your child will s have fun while being exposed to the science of bees.

I had to become a scientist there for several reasons. Most importantly, I had to catch up on the silly start to this segment.

Awesomemitten Mpdm2 1200W

Bringing the outdoors indoors at PleasANT Park

I would say that the PleasANT Park exhibition was just as successful for our group as The Beemazium. You might guess this feature has something to do with ants based on the capitalization of “ANT” in “PleasANT Park” – you’d guess correctly!

Since you are probably looking for an indoor experience to avoid ants and the dirt they reside in, rest assured that there are no real ants present here. Instead, your kids become the ants as they traverse an anthill and larger-than-life ant tunnels. My boys loved it!

Now, based on my previous Beemazium jokes, you might not believe me when I say I didn’t make up the capitalization of “ANT” in joking. But honestly, I didn’t! Seriously, check out the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum site to see for yourself.

The Great Anthill may be the focal point of PleasANT Park, but it’s based out of Deerfield Park in Mt. Pleasant and focuses on the outdoors (the irony).

My niece and nephew turned to the pop-up camper and the buildable stuffed fire pit pieces. It was lovely to see them working together to cook a meal in the RV kitchen.

Enjoy even more family fun at the MPDM

It’s a fact that the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum is the place to go for play-based education every day. We particularly appreciated the installation on a day of bad weather. We not only survived another rainy day with four small children, we thrived!

I’ve only covered our three favorite exhibits, but this place has eight more to explore, such as the Water Works Inc., Honey Money Bank, Farmers Market, Luminary Lab, and Racing Airways exhibits. We will surely be back. Will we see you there?

Mount Pleasant Discovery Center
photo via the Mt Pleasant Discovery Center Facebook page

Plan other things to do in Mid-Michigan

No matter the season, Mid-Michigan is brimming with all kinds of indoor and outdoor experiences. You can plan things to do in the summer, things to do in the fall, and things to do in the winter in Mid-Michigan.

If the weather keeps you indoors, consider exploring the things to do inside Flint or the things to do indoors in Holland as well. You can plan a longer jaunt to discover the things to do inside Alpena.