FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where are you located? I haven't heard of this yet!
We are in the organizing stage as of Spring/Summer 2017, and hope to be open in the following 12-18 months. We are considering several sites in the North Iowa area, using data from our Community Needs Assessment survey. You can read more about this, and even help, on our 'Site Search' page.

When are you open?
We're not open yet, since we're in our organizing stage. However, using data from our Community Needs Assessment survey, we are planning to be open at times that don't conflict with existing children's programs, and are also convenient for a variety of family schedules. You can read more about this on our 'Hours' page.

How much will it cost to visit?
Our goal is to be sure that all children have the ability to visit and use the Children's Discovery Center, regardless of their family income level. We are creating options for a standard annual and monthly membership, as well as subsidized programs for lower income families, and several community promotions that will provide discounted or free passes for children that meet eligibility guidelines. If you're not sure whether this might fit your situation, please contact us once we're open and we'll do our best to help! You can read more about these on our 'Memberships' page.

Won’t this compete with existing community programs, such as the library story times?
The aim of the Discovery Center is not to compete with or replace existing programs, but to complement, support, cooperate and coordinate with existing programs whenever feasible.  One example of plans to support existing programs is to invite existing cultural and community programs as guest presenters for weekly educational programming. This may become the first introduction for many families who have not yet experienced some of these community cultural assets with their children……parents may believe that their children are too young for or may not be ready to experience these programs, or may be new to community and not know they exist. The ‘village’ design will also give children the ability to role play and prepare to participate in local community venues as they grow and mature.

How will young children’s safety be ensured?
Current plans follow measures in place at the Discovery Center in Clinton.  Displays are designed so adult caregivers can easily keep an eye on multiple children around the room. A security gate keeps small children from wandering out of the area. Plans also include a recording closed-circuit camera system; ticketed point of entry; and background checks for staff and volunteers.

Can you add activities specifically for older children and teens?
The Discovery Center programs and displays are designed for children ages infant through elementary school age. Currently, there are several other groups in the North Iowa area working on ideas for programs for older children and teens.  We are fully supportive of these efforts and believe they will be most successful if each group takes one thing and does it well, rather than trying to compete with one another or be one giant organization trying to do too many things at once. Of course, older children and teens will always be welcome at the Discovery Center when along with their families.

Is this a babysitting service or day care center? Can I drop off my child while I shop?
No. An adult caregiver must be present in the Center with their children at all times. For safety reasons, and per best practice policies at other children’s museums, no children are allowed in without an adult, and no adults are allowed in without children.

Can I volunteer?
Yes! We love cheerful volunteers! Please visit our 'Volunteer' page!