Visitors: 155,775 in 2016

DHDC Exhibits

Explore over 8,000 square feet of hands-on, fun and interactive learning opportunities from both national and international touring exhibits and select permanent exhibits from the DHDC collection. Exhibits change every fall, spring and summer, providing visitors new discoveries every visit!

Traveling Exhibits

Open May 20- September 17

Life Size Games for Life Size Fun! Come PLAY and learn the many concepts of physics with GIANT versions of popular games. Your heart will be pumping and your brain will be tingling in this one-of-a-kind BRAND NEW exhibit, made and produced by our own Exhibits team at the Discovery Center. What can you learn by playing Jenga, Kerplunk, Soccer Billiards, Lite Brite, Chess and Checkers?
Physics @ Play explores the science of Physics while engaging the inner child in all of us- through play! 

Discover the force of Gravity with the Giant Jenga game. Manipulate the various structural loads that are supporting the structure even after being comprised. What do you notice when two edge blocks are removed leaving only the center block? 

Discover how Compression comes into play when two objects are pushed together with the Giant Kerplunk game. In this game all of the sticks are pushed together along with the balls. How many sticks can you remove before the compression is relased and all the balls fall to the bottom? 

GOAL! Learn all about kinetic energy and trajectory with GIANT SOCCER BILLIARDS. Explore this game of collisions and see first-hand Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Create endless patterns with our colorful GIANT LITE BRITE wall. This timeless Lite Brite exhibit creates mesmerizing opportunities for play. Kids of all ages will enjoy making patterns with acrylic rods in six colors. Parents will love the trip down memory lane when they see this classic toy designed at large scale. This activity is perfect for solo play or for a group of kids.  

Physics @ Play is Produced by the Don Harrington Discovery Center.

Physics @ Play is generously Sponsored by the Kimble Foundation and the Mullins Foundation.

Open Saturday September 30- January 7

Where will you go? How will you get there? What will you build? You can go anywhere: over land, sea, and air when you create extraordinary vehicles to take you where you want to go! To go on a travel adventure to exotic locations, you'll need to think creatively, plan, and build vehicles to move through all kinds of terrain - mountains, oceans, jungles and deserts, just to name a few! Your imagination can take you anywhere. Dream. Build. Go.

Permanent Exhibits

Your visit to the DHDC will not be complete without meeting some furry and scaly friends. From a Bearded Dragon and Tarantula to a friendly snake we call ’Pinky’, Critter Row introduces guests to animals that come from different regions all around the world. Get an up-close look at these interesting creatures and you may even get an opportunity to touch one of them. Our trained Science Guides occasionally take the animals out to mingle.
Designed for our youngest scientists, KinderStudio is a permanent exploration space for children ages 0-6. Interactive, imaginative play areas feature a climbing structure, tumbling space with mats, a lighted performance stage, hands-on manipulatives (blocks, tubes, and toys) and raw materials for creative play (i.e. shells, pine cones and popsicle sticks).  
Located just outside the Space Theater, The Space Gallery is dedicated to exploring weather conditions on Earth and beyond. Multimedia presentations reveal real-time data regarding weather conditions on Earth and explore the science of common weather phenomena. Interactive displays examine space weather concepts such as auroras, solar flares and cosmic rays and uncover their effect on the Earth. 

Seasonal Exhibits

ExploraZone engages learners of all ages with hands-on stations exploring a wealth of physics concepts, including force and motion, energy transformation, mechanics and perception. Visitors can construct and investigate the movement of a catenary arch, explore the science behind optical illusions, discover properties of periodic motion or examine the math behind movement.
Amazing Bodies takes visitors on a journey through the anatomy of the human body and examines how body systems function both independently and in relationship with each other. Through interactive learning stations visitors will explore concepts of learned vs. inherited traits in humans and animals, the role DNA plays in heredity, and life cycles. 
Imagination Playground is designed to inspire children-directed learning. Giant blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes, oversized cogs, wheels, spools and tubes stimulate creativity in children of all ages and inspire them to invent their own ways to play. Kids work together to create original structures and make up their own stories, rules and games. Younger learners practice skills such as hand-eye coordination; fine motor development; spatial awareness and foundational math and science thinking while older kids experiment with concepts of force, inertia, gravity, simple machines, measurement and geometry.  
From a giant tennis ball launcher to a table top parabola, Bounce reveals how much there is to learn from a simple sphere. The exhibit features 35 hands-on learning stations which rotate on and off the exhibit floor providing visitors with new learning opportunities during every visit. A favorite with scientists of all ages, Bounce allows visitors to discover concepts of geometry, optics, sound, force, motion, acceleration, inertia, simple machines, planetary motion and more.