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The Discovery Reno Nevada

The Discovery in Reno Nevada is an amazing science and children’s museum for the whole family!

After having enough of the sun, we decided to take a trip from South Lake Tahoe to Reno to take advantage of some indoor fun while using our reciprocal membership at the science museum! If you have any type of membership to zoos, science museums or children’s museums, it is great to take advantage of the reciprocal memberships that many of these museums have. A Reciprocal membership usually grants the member either a discounted admission or free admission to another location! This is perfect when traveling, and we have taken advantage of this benefit many times!

The Discovery is located in Reno, Nevada in the heart of the city at 490 S Center Street. It was about an hour and a half from our hotel in South Lake Tahoe, but close to the airport.

Parking was limited, but free right on site. There was some street parking with meters.  The museum is a two story facility that is accessible. We also noted that there were summer camps in the classroom in the basement.

A Long hallway from the entrance of The Discovery to the rest of the museum. There was a gift shop, large entry area and then stairs and ramps to restrooms, classrooms and of course, the rest of the museum and exhibits. I, of course, had to pop into the bathroom after our drive.

The Discovery Reno

The bathroom was amazing. I always feel relieved ( ha ha ) to find a bathroom, but I absolutely loved that The Discovery has these little flags to tell you if the bathroom is occupied or not! How awesome to not have to bend down, or walk by and poke at each door! High five on this! And there was a baby changing area as well.

The Discovery Curiosity carnival

There is a room for rotating exhibits. I peeked into this one, but we ran out of time. It was all about the “science” of carnival games. Basically, how people are unlikely to win!

The Cloud

This was “The Cloud” climber! It reminded me of a climber that we went to in Boston (in their Children’s Museum). Very cool 2 story climber that was quite the challenge even for our munchie. Dimples didn’t want to attempt it, but instead played in the water area below. It was similar to the Colorado River exhibit at Sea Life Aquarium

River the Discovery

There were so many different things to manipulate in the water area. Dimples stayed there for about an hour. He was working with the Truckee river flows, stopping the water, and there was even an area that worked with hydro electric power. And, of course, this is showing a dam, similar to the real dam we saw at Alamo Lake State Park! What a great way to tie our trips together!

Water and River at the Discovery

Also on the downstairs/Basement floor were classroom/party rooms, Science Undergound and the Under the Stars exhibit.

The Under the Stars exhibit at The Discovery was in the dark, but not scary. Featuring camping and caving, the kids could play with magnetic fish, pretend their are camping and pack up their bags and go through a cave.

caves and more

While not a real cave, it did have a real cave feel. With “bats” and “spiders” the kids got to check out some stalactites and stalagmites .

There was also a display about the rocks of Nevada and the fish you can find in Nevada. The rocks were very interesting to me, as there are so many mountains!

Fish and Rocks of Nevada

Many of the rocks are similar to those found in Arizona. If you are looking for a great display of rock found in Arizona, you’ll want to check out the Arizona Museum of Natural History!

We also went to the Science Underground which had a lot of different experiments on sound, building and electronics. There was a large dinosaur made out of wood, and that wasn’t hands on unfortunately. There was a lot of the different blue blocks (Imagination Playground) that are also found at The Arizona Science Center!

Science underground the discovery

I loved the tubes for making noise with flip flops. My kids took the flip flops so I didn’t have anything to play with. So I took off my own flip flop and banged away. HAHA. My husband was slightly embarrassed. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix also has this display on the second floor!

Next, I headed up to the 5 and under room with Dimples! It was a really nice space. It was more geared to 4 and under, but Dimples had fun. It was a great space for the littles to be able to hang out and play without getting run over by bigger kids!

Little disco veries the discovery

Little Discoveries in The Discovery on the second floor had shape sorters, beads and wires, Lego blocks, a pretend mine to play with, a tree house and slide and pretend house and the ball shooters. Lots of buttons and lots of fun. The benches had spaces for books if you needed a quieter moment.

Next door the to the Little Discoveries was the traveling exhibit. We went across the hall to the Inside Out Anatomy Experience, which was super cool. Munchie and Giggles were hanging out there for a while and learned a lot about the body. There were many different experiments that the kids could particpate in!

inside out the discovery

The top picture is of a heat sensor, and there were many movable skeletons, body parts and even devices to check out if you are color blind! This was a really fun area for the kids!

The last part of the museum we checked out was the Nevada Stories. Unfortunately, we had to head back to Lake Tahoe so we missed out on the Spark!Lab Smithsonian and DaVinci’s Corner.


All things Nevada-Huge tires for farm machinery, Washoe/Shoshone/Pauite Indian homes and lifestyles, and a game similar to Oregon trail. Of course, my kids saw the slow machine and wanted to play that. Notice it is behind a table!

There was also the mining cave for the kids to go in and explore, telegraph station and more!

We really enjoyed our time at The Discovery in Reno! If you are in the area with kids, this is definitely an amazing museum to check out!

The Basics

The Discovery, Reno Nevada

490 S Center Street, Reno

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