Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden State Discovery Museum: Exhibit Renovations

If you couldn't tell by now, we here at Daily Vacationer Jr  absolutely love the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, NJ.  We get to visit a lot of places in the Greater Philadelphia area and some of them naturally become favorites of ours.  We try to vary our locations up as much as possible: art, animals, gardens, eateries, tours, etc., and every now and then we get to go somewhere that is more "kid-oriented" (read: just plain fun).  The Garden State Discovery Museum really hits it out of the park for us when it comes to places to play in the Philly area.  Check out our Local Destination post on the Discovery Museum to see exactly why we love it so much and why you really need to go.
This summer, the Discovery Museum has only improved with some pretty amazing renovations.  Not content to remain static, they are continuously improving and adding to their numerous play areas.  Their theater had a facelift and came out as the Horizon Foundation Backstage Theater.  Now with elements that give it a vintage feel, the theater brings kids back to a time when live shows were in their heyday.  The best part is the replica of an old theater marquee over the door!  We went to go see their live show, American Legends, in the spring, and we highly recommend taking the kids to enjoy these free with admission performances!
An even bigger addition to the Garden State Discovery Museum is the complete overhaul of their Cooper Checkup exhibit.  Originally set up to make kids at ease with going to the doctor's office, the staff realized that many kids face more serious health situations than heading to a routine visit with a familiar doctor.  The exhibit now eases kids into the more intimidating world of medical emergencies and hospital visits with a ride in an ambulance and a trip to the ER.  They attempted to mimic the real Cooper University Hospital as much as possible, while maintaining their "hands on fun" motto.  Everything, from the ambulance stretcher to the x-rays, are realistic and playful at the same time.  Common childhood medical emergencies like broken bones and stitches are covered in fun ways (we loved lacing up Stitch Up Suzi), but the kids get to be in charge, driving the ambulance (complete with sirens and lights, of course) and calling out the hospital helicopter.  The exhibit even covers what the various medical instruments are and what they do.  We were also fans of the decision to include the newborn area, where kids can take a turn at changing diapers and swaddling new babies.  New siblings are another major life event that can change everything for kids in an instant, and most children meet their brothers and sisters in a hospital environment.  We highly recommend that every parent in the area take a day to visit this new exhibit.  Medical emergencies are an unexpected reality for almost every family at some point and having Cooper Checkup to reference ("Daddy is riding the back of the ambulance.  Remember when you drove one?") will help even the littlest ones better understand and deal with what is happening.
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  1. We haven't been there in a while - I think we need to remedy that!

  2. We are big fans of the museum too, love the groovin and grubbin series

  3. We just recently went and love it there!