Murfreesboro Mama: 6 Can't Miss Happenings at Discovery Center this Spring

Apr 20, 2021 at 09:45 am by Laura Beth Payne

"In the Studio" workshop at Discovery Center
Kelsey Smith of Hilo Studios leading an "In the Studio" workshop at Discovery Center.

You could say it's been a *little* busy at Discovery Center, lately.

Why? Since reopening its doors after Covid-19, the center's leadership and staff has worked tirelessly to offer creative ways for children and their grown-ups to experience the center safely. The result is a unique menu of options, from two-hour center rentals (private playdates!) to homeschool workshops (both indoor and outdoor) and ongoing camps for all ages to focus on specific subject matter (Campology!)

The kids and I have enjoyed our visits to DC even during the tense season of easing back into playing indoors somewhere. Hand sanitizer everywhere? Check. Masks on guests and employees? Check. The realization that kids are going to be kids, and all of us parents are just trying to figure out how to keep our preschoolers from tugging off their masks and licking windows? Check, and check.

It's been a clean, safe, and yes, enjoyable visit every time.

This spring is extra special, then, as DC's new programs ramp up, and also importantly, the in-prerson fundraisers begin! Families won't want to miss opportunities over the coming month to rediscover the center and contribute to making it stronger than ever.

Check out these 6 can't-miss events coming up at Discovery Center.

1. In the Studio: Creativity and Printmaking (Now- May 27)

If you've got artsy kids, they'll love another reasons to visit the center's art studio! Held each Thursday at 10 a.m. by artist in residence Kelsey Smith of Hilo Studios, these miniature art workshops offer children and parents direction for creating something new (and usually simple). Participants get something cool to take away, and parents get inspo for further ideas at home. Workshops are included with the cost of admission, and a list of upcoming theme days are on the DC website.

2. Arts in April (April 25)

A free day at Discovery Center? Yes, please! Arts in April celebrates the diversity of Tennessee through performing and visual arts. This event allows visitors of all ages to experience the arts through the cultural lens of local artists who share their unique heritage with performances and hands-on activities, including portrait drawing, Chinese dance and drumming, yoga, dance, and mindfulness workshops. The event is open to all, but there is a guest limit indoors, so admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

3. Weekend in the Wetlands (Fridays in May and June) 

When the weather's getting great, why limit learning inside? Guests can plan to join Discovery Center staff for guided exploration and activitities along the Wetlands  on Fridays in May and June. Themes include water observation and testing, creating recycled art, water flow engineering, and terrarium buidling. Times will be 3:30-4:30pm, with cost $5 for children and free for adults.

4. Secret Garden Tea Party (May 8)

This fun new event offers a hint of the center's June Secret Garden Party with a family twist! Parents and children are invited to have breakfast in the lush Wetlands area, participate in light gardening and potting activities, and capture some magical moments at the styled photo stations. It's also a thoughtful way to honor mothers and grandmothers over Mothers Day weeked. Two seating times are available at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost is $10 for Discovery Center members and $15 for non-members. Along with your ticket purchase, museum access is included.

5. Wine and Whiskey + Shakesbeer (May 15)

Grownups will love supporting Discovery Center with this one! Possibly one of the most fun and unique fundraisers in the city, Wine and Whiskey + Shakesbeer features a series of wine and liquor tastings, along with local brews, all while guests stroll the Wetlands. Get dinner from some of the best food trucks in the city, and take in the talent of Murfreesboro Little Theater thespians for one unforgettable evening! Tickets are $60 each; $15 for designated drivers.

6. Secret Garden Party and Tour

Held at the historic Main Street home of Ken and Judy Stone, the elegant summer soiree will offer a gorgeous array of artfully crafted food, cocktails, auction items, and activities styled in the French theme of "A Stroll along the Seine." The party precedes the Secret Garden Tour Weekend where guests can visit beautiful local gardens hidden in the community. This year’s tour will also feature a scavenger hunt element for children. Tickets to the Secret Garden Party are $100, with tour tickets announced at a later date.

It's a beautiful season for "rediscovery" at Discovery Center! Learn more and find tickets to these and other great happenings at explorethedc.org/events.

Laura Beth Payne is a writer mama and Murfreesboro native who lives in the Blackman community with her husband and two children. Follow her at @murfreesboromama on Facebook and Instagram. Got a column idea? Email her at laurabethpayne@gmail.com.



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