Photo Courtesy of Discovery Center Museum

    Rockford, IL- Discovery Center has a new temporary exhibition…a make-believe, kid-sized city! In Discovery Town children play as they learn about the people and places that make up a community. The exhibition opens January 18 and runs through May 10.

    Each stop on the trip through town provides opportunities for children to try out adult roles through role play, or as it is sometimes called, “imaginative play.” This cityscape created just for kids promotes problem solving, creative exploration and getting along with others through fun and absorbing activities. The activities also provide practice with essential fine and gross motor skills. Children have the freedom to safely explore, discover, and learn through creative and imaginative play in a pint-sized community.

    While in Discovery Town, children can explore a variety of settings:

    • Vet Clinic: Give your furry friend (big or small) a checkup, beautify your pet at the grooming table, examine an x-ray, and treat large animals in the corral.
    • Pizza Shop: Take an order, then put together and serve up some pretend pizza!
    • Fire Station: Answer emergency calls, don firefighter gear, climb into the fire truck and battle a blaze!
    • Local Theater: Select a costume and jump onstage to make your acting or singing debut!
    • Town Park: Play outdoor games in this big green space, and test your skills at mini-putt!
    • Post Office: Sort the mail, fill your bag, and make deliveries all over town!
    • Airport: Load the plane, start the engine, and pilot your way home!

    “Children explore careers through role play,” explains Sarah Wolf, executive director at Discovery Center. When children think about what they want to be when they grow up, they typically enact their desire through role play. Putting on a fireman’s hat and pretending to rescue people or wearing a veterinarian’s coat and pretending to make a diagnosis can empower them to feel that this goal is attainable. While not all children decide so early, it’s fundamental to children’s development for them to understand their potential and their options, and to see themselves in different roles.

    Admission to Discovery Center and the Discovery Town exhibit is $10 for the public and free to museum members. Media partner: WTVO/WQRF



    Discovery Center Museum is a children’s science museum providing hands-on math, science and art experiences for all ages with over 250 hand-on exhibits, planetarium, special area for children under five, and an outdoor science park. Discovery Center Museum is the nation’s 5th Best Museum for Families according to USA TODAY/, and one of 12 museums included in’s article, The 12 Best Children’s Museums in the U.S. In 2019 Discovery Center earned the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame distinction. The Museum is located inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 North Main Street, Rockford, Ill.  General admission to the Museum is:  $9 adults, $9 children (ages 2 to 17); free to Museum members and children age 1 and younger. Hours of operation are: 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week. For additional information, call (815) 963-6769 or log onto our website at

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