Kansas Children's Discovery Center

YouTube video on the Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Project funded by Lottery dollars.

Photo of the Discovery Center Building

The Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka received a $50,000 Attraction Development Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce's Travel & Tourism Division. Money for Attraction Development Grants comes from the state's Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which is derived from Lottery proceeds.

Date:Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Contact:Sally Lunsford, 785-296-5708 or sally.lunsford@kslottery.net

Discovery Center Car Service AreaAt the new Kansas Children's Discovery Center, children learn the way children do best - by doing, seeing, touching and experiencing. Whether trying their hand at changing parts on a miniature car in the "Super Service Center," loading a brush with paint in the Art Pavilion, or preparing "lunch" in a child-sized café, young visitors are free to explore whatever interests them.

"Here, they are learning on their own, informally. We just provide the opportunities with exhibits and ever-changing supporting activities," said Margaret Hennessey-Springe, the center's director of education.

As children learn about science, careers, art, and financial literacy, they are doing so in the cheery light of floor-to-ceiling rainbow-colored glass, one of the most striking features of the Discovery Center. This beautiful new facility held its grand opening June 1 after several years of planning and fundraising. Primarily a privately funded venture, the $7 million Kansas Children's Discovery Center is also a public/private partnership. It is located in Topeka's Gage Park and receivedDiscovery Center Art Area a $50,000 Attraction Development Grant from the state.

"The Attraction Development Grant was instrumental in helping us install the main infrastructure for the Outdoor Learning Environment," said Joanne Morrell, the center's executive director. "This additional 4.5 acres of wooded exploration will make the Discovery Center a regional attraction, serving children across the state as they climb, build, dig, hike, trike, discover and explore the great outdoors!"

The Outdoor Learning Environment is expected to be complete in 2012. Plans call for a tree house, a climbing structure called the "Kansas Sunflower Climber," a garden maze, a yellow concrete path reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz's "Yellow Brick Road," a butterfly garden, an archeological dig area and more.

Discovery Center PlansThe Discovery Center serves children 10 years of age and younger. It is open to the public and is also a popular destination for field trips and children's parties. To learn more about the Kansas Children's Discovery Center, call 785-783-8300 or visit www.kansasdiscovery.org.

As a Kansas Lottery player, you can be proud that lottery revenue helps support great projects like the Kansas Children's Discovery Center!

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