Tropical storms may be lurking nearby, but a little rain never got in the way of family fun. One of our go-to rainy-day activities is visiting Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, the interactive museum/play place that keeps kids entertained for hours. But what brought us there on a recent sunny morning was their brand-new Rainforest Adventure exhibit.
The exhibit’s goal is environmental education, and in true Discovery Center fashion, it’s done with tons of hands-on fun.
Two words: Water table. That’s what your kids will head straight for, to send boats, animals, and other toys floating down the “river,” complete with an observation window to pop up through. The centerpiece of the exhibit demonstrates the Amazon River water cycle, and provides a great excuse for splashing fun. The Center even provides plastic smocks to keep the kiddos dry. (From moms everywhere: thank you.)
My daughter’s fave was the treetop observation deck, created to mimic how scientists actually study the rainforests, but let’s face it, the kids are psyched just to climb into a tree house. Other features include rainforest puzzles, games and an interactive art activity using colorful bottle caps, all of which were collected from Hawaii beaches, noted a staffer.
I was pleasantly surprised that half of the exhibit is for ages 3 and under only. My 4-year-old was bummed she couldn’t go in, but only for about two seconds before she skipped off to another cool discovery. My 2-year-old son and the other tots happily toddled around the colorful jungle, filled with soft climbing areas, a crawling tunnel, a puppet show and dress-up center, and plenty of animal toys and games. There was even a rainforest-themed infant mobile gym, which I thought was a cute and thoughtful touch for parents with babies in tow.
There’s even more to it than we actually had time to discover. My kids were excited to move on to the rest of the Center, which they know and love. But I know we’ll be back again, rain or shine.
Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. General admission is $10 or $8 for kamaaina and military. Kids under 1 are free. For more info call 524-5437 or visit www.discoverycenterhawaii.org.