Courtesy Little Rock CVB
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A totally new Arkansas Museum of Discovery reopened in mid-January in downtown Little Rock’s River Market district after being gutted and redone from top to bottom over the previous year.
The renovation features three new galleries containing 85 interactive exhibits for all ages.
In addition to the redesign, the focus of the museum was expanded.
“Renovation planning began nearly three years ago,” said museum executive director Nan Selz. “The Museum of Discovery has long been considered as a place just for children. With the overhaul came the decision to make it more appealing to adults as well.
“This facility will appeal to all ages, and it will most certainly be a tourist attraction, as well as an educational opportunity.”
The renovation includes a new entrance, which opens to the Great Hall and a piece of kinetic sculpture hanging overhead. Titled “A Helix Wave,” the sculpture’s wooden planks undulate, powered by giant piano strings.
The three new areas of exploration are the Amazing You, dealing with the human body; Discovery Hall, where physics, engineering and math are investigated; and Earth Journeys, which examines global earth processes and extreme weather in Arkansas.
Also new to the museum is “Tornado Alley,” where visitors can “ride out” the 1999 twister that hit Little Rock while listening to memories of those who experienced it.
The 18 live animal habitats on the museum floor include ferrets, birds, spiders, snakes, owls and flying squirrels.