Parents know that rainy days with little ones can be a challenge. You wake up, meet their basic needs and then a decision must be made quickly. Do we stay in the house and risk implosion or pile in the car and try something new?
No brainer. Always spare your habitat! Protect the home front! Remember, you have allies at the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum and, speaking of habitats, at least a couple to choose from when you visit.
Reminiscing About a Rainy Day With Family
My sister and I with our children (collectively, four kids ages 5 and under) were visiting the grandparents in Gladwin when one such rainy day came upon us. With that many littles under one roof that wasn’t even ours, the pressure to find something to do was significant.
To our surprise, we would not just find something to do. We would find something that would prove enjoyable for all.
Entering the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
A quick Google search for kid-friendly things to do in Mid-Michigan brought up the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum (MPDM) within the top five results. The strong Google reviews and easy-to-navigate, decent-looking website left us feeling confident MPDM would satisfy our youngsters.
The facility has a welcoming feeling from the start with big windows, barn-red paint, and stone accents. The friendly staff welcomed us, but the kids were ready to launch! A play on words you will soon understand, but first, we needed to buy tickets.
Ticket Prices & Museum for All Discounts
A daily pass costs $8 per person, however, there are several discounts available as well as membership options.
The Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum is a proud member of an initiative called Museums for All. This program allows it to offer qualifying families an admission of just $3 per person for up to four individuals.
I had never heard of Museums for All, but I find their mission to encourage lifelong museum habits for everyone to be a noble pursuit. I was happy to see MPDM is a participant in such efforts.
Letting the Kids Explore Every Which Way
Alright, it’s launch time. The kids took off like rockets and in different directions! It seems they know of no other way, am I right parents and grandparents alike? (I hope it’s not just me…)
Thankfully, we had an adult per child, a rare treat it seems. Two moms, one dad, and a grandma for four kiddos.
A pro tip everyone knows — Never be outnumbered by children.
A lesser known pro tip — Should you be so lucky to have a 1:1 ratio, assign which child goes with who IN ADVANCE! A lesson we struggled through in the first moments at MPDM because there was much to see and explore.
Crafting & Building in the Exploratorium
Kids often take an initial survey of the land, so to speak, before settling on a spot to enjoy some extended play. This was the whole rockets-in-different-directions bit I mentioned earlier. Well, that bit also happens to serve as a good segue into The Exploratorium exhibit.
This attraction at the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum is where children (or, in our case, grandma) can build things using common crafting tools like paper, tape, scissors, etc. Ideally, MPDM would like you to build a rocket ship so that you can use their air pressured rocket launcher.
This would be super cool for slightly older kids (or, you know, grandma – I said MPDM was fun for all!). Unfortunately, it was not a big draw for our busy bees ages 5 and under.
Getting Busy in the Beemazium
Our little busy bees did, wait for it, BEELINE to The Beemazium exhibit many times!
Was that too much? Personally, I think I’m getting pretty good at segues and quips but have yet to hit my sweet spot … ba-dum-bum! Thank you for BEARing with me even in STICKY situations. Okay, that last corny joke was not my fault. It practically wrote itself.
About The Beemazium — children truly enjoy this playscape, and it’s the largest exhibit at the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum. It’s a giant hive with multiple levels to explore as if you were an actual, hardworking bee.
Whether your little bee is trudging through pool noodles impersonating stamens — the part of a flower comprised of filaments and anthers that contain pollen — or lugging around hexagonal stuffies representing honey combs, your child is having fun while being exposed to the science of bees.
I had to get scientific there for several reasons. The most important one being that I had to make up for the ditzy beginning of this segment.
Experiencing the Outdoors Indoors at PleasANT Park
I would say the PleasANT Park exhibit was just as big a hit for our group as The Beemazium. You might guess that this feature has something to do with ants based on the capitalization of “ANT” in “PleasANT Park” — you would be guessing correctly!
Considering you’re likely looking for an indoor experience to avoid ants and the dirt in which they reside, rest assured there are no real ants present here. Instead, your kids become the ants as they traverse a larger-than-life anthill and ant tunnels. My boys absolutely loved this!
Now, based on my Beemazium jokes before, you may not believe me when I say I didn’t come up with the capitalizing of “ANT” in pleasant. But honestly, I didn’t! Seriously, check out the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum site to see for yourself.
The sizable anthill may be the focal point of PleasANT Park, but it’s based on Deerfield Park in Mt. Pleasant and focuses on the outdoors (the irony).
My niece and nephew gravitated toward the pop-up camper and buildable stuffed fire pit pieces. It was adorable seeing them work together to prepare a meal in the camper kitchen.
Enjoying Even More Great Family Fun at MPDM
It’s a fact that the Mt Pleasant Discovery Museum is the place to go for play-based education any day. We especially appreciated the facility on a day of inclement weather. We didn’t just survive another rainy day with four little kiddos, we thrived!
I only covered our three favorite exhibits, but this place has eight more to explore — such as the Water Works Inc., Honey Money Bank, Farmers Market, Luminary Lab, and Racing Airways exhibits. We will surely visit again. Will we see you there?