The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a “kids” museum in Dayton. While the museum may be aimed at kids, parents will have fun too. With a planetarium, zoo, play areas, and a tree house there is plenty to see and do.
The lower level of the museum is where the Space Theater, Hall of Universe, and Science Central are. Science Central is a big water table where kids can learn about the force of water and how it shapes our world. Situated around the room is other exhibits on forces in our world. The Space Theater is the large 3d dome theater for the museum. The programs are included in the price of admission and vary greatly through out the day. Check the website to see what is showing when and plan accordingly as the shows do not repeat.
Through out the museum are around 100 animals. The animals are mostly small mammals, reptiles, and birds. The largest is a huge Burmese Python. The Discovery Zoo, a fully AZA accredited zoo, houses many of the larger animals of the museum. The otters, sloth, and ducks are fun to watch. The best time to go is during the daily otter feeding. The rest of the animals are spread out among the exhibits.
Some of the exhibits on the second floor are aimed more at play than learning. Explorers Crossing is where kids, and adults alike, can explore a court house, a grocery store, a mechanics shop, and more. The areas are sponsored by local businesses, but instead of felling like a commercial, the sponsorship actually helps to enhance the feel of being in a real local shop.
The rest of the upper level is a mix of smaller exhibits aimed more at learning, but still keeping the fun atmosphere. These include a desert, woodlands, an exhibit on waste management, and an African room. The African room contains Nesiur the mummy, a real mummified human, along with other Egyptian artifacts and artifacts and art from around Africa. Smaller kids may not find these areas as fun as Explorer Crossing.
Hidden in the back of the museums second floor are the Science on a Sphere and Treehouse. Science on a Sphere is a large globe that shows a video about our earth. The seamless 360 degree show is a wonder in itself and worth finding. The Treehouse is a real life tree house set out in the woods behind the museum. It is connected to the main museum and is almost like still being inside the museum. Surrounded by bird feeders it is a great place to see not only flying animals, but creatures on the ground below that come to eat the food that falls.
The best time to visit the museum is on weekends when most of the show and hands on activities are available. While adults will have fun they may not learn much from the museum with most of the facts aimed at littler kids. Overall the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a great way to learn about the world around us.
PS. Football fans can visit Triangle Park, which is located right behind the museum. It is the site of the first NFL game ever played.