Reno’s Greatest New “Discovery”

– Posted in: Nevada, Reno, Sappy Tammy, Things To Do with Kids, Worst Mom Reviews

It’s a good day when you can be proud of your city.

I live in Reno, and I know this may come as a surprise to many of you, but it’s actually a great place (shh, don’t tell anyone — I like the population and traffic level exactly where it is). No doubt we’ve had an absolutely crappy time the last few years with the unemployment boom and housing bust (I like to think if it weren’t such a far drive, a few East Coast banks and financial institutions may have gotten a visit from hoards of torch-and-pitchfork-wielding Nevadans). And granted, our elected officials still don’t seem to understand that if you’re a business that employs well-paid, smart people, you won’t set up shop where the schools suck. But still, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

The thing is, Reno is one of those towns that perpetually almost gets there. We’re like the great song that gets sung by Donny Osmond. Or the cute skirt that the lady decides to dress up with panty hose. The potential is there. But somehow, something lame or pathetic always comes walking in.

Cloud Climber

But today, that didn’t happen. Today we went to the “members only sneak peak” of the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. Or as the cool people call it, “The Discovery.” To say our city needed a children’s museum — actually, anything great for kids to do — would be an understatement. For whatever reason, we’re a city filled with families that doesn’t give a rats about families. Whenever I visit friends in other places, I think, “Why don’t we have a play area in the mall? Why don’t we have any cool public pools? Why don’t we have an exploratorium?” It’s frankly kind of embarrassing.

So when we walked into The Discovery today, I have to say, I got kind of verklempt. I was so proud of my city. The museum blows doors on every other children’s museum we’ve been to in the last five years. Not to mention, it teaches the kids (and the adults, since I didn’t know most of the stuff I read) all about our area. So much hard work obviously went into this project.

Painting on Glass

For two hours, my kids climbed on a giant cloud structure, put circuits together, painted on a glass wall, played with wind and magnets, and learned about our area’s rivers and lakes by dipping their hands in a big, meandering waterway. It’s a good thing we bought a membership because they begged to come back tomorrow.*

So today was a very good day. Hopefully the first of many to come. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that things are looking up — for my city and all the rest of us, too.

*We can’t go back tomorrow. The Discovery officially opens September 10th.

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14 Comments… add one

Clara K September 4, 2011, 12:08 pm

Looks awesome! We love the Denver Children's Museum (and have a membership – yay!).
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Wombat Central September 4, 2011, 8:44 pm

Ooh! That cloud climber puts to shame a similar climber at our science museum. Looks great! Hey–don't forget that Reno was the star of "Reno 911!" Loved that show….

VM Sehy Photography September 5, 2011, 12:57 am

This looks so cool. We moved a long time ago though. I agree with you about so few places for kids. We used to go out to the play area by the bowling alley out to wild island. The arboretum was a favorite place to go, too. I ended up joining gymnastics just to have my son doing something with other kids. We went to South Valleys Library a lot, too. I'm glad they finally put in a kid's museum. Wish it'd been there when we were.
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PartlySunny September 5, 2011, 1:16 am

I love Denver. We thought about moving there (it feels a lot like Reno — altitude, temperature). And you guys have so much great stuff to do. I got my favorite boots the last time I was there!

PartlySunny September 5, 2011, 1:17 am

There are people here who HATE Reno 911. We think it's totally funny. But then, we aren't exactly normal.

PartlySunny September 5, 2011, 1:20 am

I honestly thought they'd have this thing done when my kids were about 18. So it was a fantastic surprise. The Bozeman Sculpture Park is awesome, btw. I'm going to check out that other link.

Jessica September 5, 2011, 7:44 am

I had no idea that you are in Reno too.

I'm excited to take my kids to this museum. I was bummed they weren't open for the summer because now my daughter is back in school.

Verity September 5, 2011, 6:33 pm

I totally agree – I kept getting all misty eyed on Saturday. We were there for 3 hours and only left because they were closing. Very impressive, Reno!

Paul Hauser September 7, 2011, 4:32 am

This regions first discovery museum – a place dedicated to curiosity, creativity and understanding that lead to a lifetime of learning and joy for the entire family. Its been years in the making and well worth the effort. Way to go Reno!

PartlySunny September 7, 2011, 5:00 am

I keep forgetting to tell you I'm in Reno. Crazy.

The museum is so cool. I'm just so happy we got it before the kids outgrew it. I figure we'll hit it after school sometimes. That's why I got the membership.

PartlySunny September 7, 2011, 5:01 am

You and I are THE BIGGEST saps. I knew you'd get all emotional, too.

PartlySunny September 7, 2011, 5:04 am

Paul, I've been feeling so cynical about the world lately. It's just great to see good people get together and actually get something done. It gives me faith in humanity.

Padded Cell Princess September 7, 2011, 10:56 am

The cloud climber is the coolest thing I have ever seen! If I was 8 year old, I probably would have just peed with excitement! I've never seen anything like that; it's brilliant!
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PartlySunny September 12, 2011, 2:25 am

It's so frickin' tall! That's what kind of blows your mind. I may have to suck it up and go in there next time.

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