Normal’s Children’s Discovery Museum offers various events, camps to entice learning during school break

Central Illinois Newsday

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal is ready to help local families learn and play during school break. It’s offering various day camps, events, and learning opportunities for kids. Masks are required for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status.


Zoom with Santa

Through the magic of Zoom, the Children’s Discovery Museum is offering families virtual visits with Santa. He is looking forward to greeting families on December 20 & 21. $25 per call includes a 5-8 minute video chat with Santa. Once you have registered for your desired appointment with Santa you will receive a confirmation email with an online form to fill out for your family’s visit. Spaces are going quicker than Santa’s Sleigh – so register today! Available appointments are listed below.

In preparation, please, download the Zoom program to your computer or device well in advance of your family’s appointment with Santa. Your computer or device must have a camera and a microphone and be Zoom compatible. Please, log into Zoom by using the link provided in advance of your appointment. We recommend testing the Zoom program prior to your visit if you have never used it before.

If you have any questions before your appointment please contact Amy Pitzer at apitzer@normal.org or 309-433-3448.


Day Camps

Discovery Day Camps offer children an opportunity to engage in STEAM-based learning through play. Each day consists of playtime in the classroom, themed activities, 30 min lunch, more fun activities, then snack and playtime in the classroom during pick up. 

Please make sure you sign in to access online program registration and membership discounts. Registration closes one week in advance of the program start date. 

**If you don’t see the program you would like to register for, it may be full or registration has closed.  

Ages: K-5 
Class Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Class Cost: $51 Members / Museums for All
                    $56 Non-Members

Children must bring a sack lunch and a water bottle to class.

Date Topic Description 
Monday,  Dec. 20Energy What is energy and where do we find it. Learn all about the different kinds of energy in our world like mechanical, electrical, heat, and more!
Tuesday, Dec. 21- CAMP IS FULL! Human BodyTake a deeper look into what makes our body work. We will explore fun facts and the different body systems and campers will get time to explore the new medical exhibit “Healthy Me”.  
Wednesday, Dec. 22- CAMP IS FULL! Holiday STEM ChallengesDust off your thinking cap and come ready to design your way through some holiday themed STEM challenges. Make a reindeer that can “fly” down a zipline in the quickest time, design a snowball shooter, protect a candy cane from breaking and more.
Thursday, Dec. 23- CAMP IS FULL! Holiday Gifts Let’s get ready for the holidays! We will be making ornaments, special gifts for our loved ones, and much more!
Monday,  Dec. 27 Medieval EngineeringCatapults, trebuchets, and ballista are all siege engines designed for medieval warfare. How were they built, and can we build our own? 
Tuesday, Dec. 28-CAMP IS FULL! BubbleologyWhen you mix two ingredients and bubbles form, a chemical reaction has happened. We will explore chemical reactions that form bubbles and how they are different from soap bubbles. 
Wednesday, Dec. 29- CAMP IS FULL! DIY Crafts Come join in on the fun of do-it-yourself projects! Learn the process of making things from start to finish and experience how exciting it is to create new things. 
Thursday, Dec. 30 World RenewalExplore how other cultures celebrate the ringing in of a new year. 
Monday, Jan. 3- CAMP IS FULL! Winter WonderlandLearn about the science of snow! How are the crystals formed and what snowy art can we create?
Monday,   Jan. 17Animal ArchitectsDiscover some of the creative ways that animals, like beavers, birds and spiders build and create impressive structures and homes.
Monday,   Feb. 21Space Exploration: James WebbThe new James Webb Space Telescope launched this fall. Has it seen anything new yet? Learn about this huge telescope and what scientist hope to learn about the history of the universe. 
Monday, March 21Pi explorationsPi day was last week, and we will explore the principals of Pi and maybe even enjoy some pie!
Tuesday, March 22Plants, Insects, and PollinationIts National Agriculture week and we are going to explore flowering plants and how they are pollinated. 
Wednesday, March 23RainforestJoin us as we explore the layers of the rainforest and learn about the habitat and animals of the jungle.
Thursday, March 24Wearable ArtGet creative and design some upcycled art fashion pieces that you can wear using a variety of materials. The possibilities are endless!
Friday, March 25Newton’s Laws Newton’s Laws of motion help us understand what happens when forces are applied to objects. We will explore how the three laws of motion work with simple, hands-on experiments.
Friday, April 15Earth Day CelebrationEarth Day is April 22 and we should celebrate our home! We will learn about our planet and how we can keep it healthy and safe. 

Noon Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year early at the Museum! Partygoers will enjoy exploring exhibits and themed activities along with our confetti celebration countdown.

New this year we are offering two-party times to manage crowds and ensure an enjoyable visit. We expect to sell out – so register early!

Children must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Date: Friday, Dec. 31

Time: 8 – 10a.m. (Confetti at 10 a.m.) 

                               or 

          11 a.m-1 p.m. (Confetti at Noon)

Cost: $7 Members/Museums for All

          $12 Non-Member

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