The summer of 2018 is shaping up to be full of educational opportunities and new activities at Discovery Park of America in Union City. Having recently hit the milestone of one-million visitors in the first four years, organizers at the park say that their goal is to continue to give people a reason to visit the park by offering new and different experiences. There are several highlights this summer that should create a buzz in the region, according to CEO Jim Rippy. “We have new opportunities through both our Education and Event Departments,” Rippy said. “And we plan to help people get around the grounds easier by adding trolleys this summer,” he added.
For the first time, Discovery Park of America is offering summer camps for children. There are four distinct and different summer camps available. The first one is a one-day camp on July 7th called “Minecraft.” Educational Specialist Russell Orr said that children ages eight through twelve will have the opportunity to see things that they have experienced playing Minecraft come to life.
July 10th – 13th the park will offer LEGO Camp. This camp is for children ages six and up and will meet from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. July 17th through July 20th children six and up can attend one of two Storytelling Camps. Children signing up for the Storytelling Camp will meet for a couple of hours each day and “build a story.” The final summer camp will meet from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. July 24th through the 27th and will focus on all things “Dinosaur.” The content of this camp is geared for children ages six through nine. Park members get a reduced rate when signing up for any of these camps. These day-camps have a limited number of spots available, so parents should sign up early to insure that their child gets to attend. Additional information can be found on the park’s website.
Educational Director Polly Brasher said that there are monthly educational offerings at the park including Saturday Morning Science, Family Education Series classes, Kid’s Create Art Classes, Stargazing and weekend long events like Civil War Days and Military Living History. “Discovery Park offers parents and grandparents the perfect opportunity to foster learning in a fun environment this summer,” Brasher said. “In addition to the website, we have an Annual Calendar of Events that we are happy to mail to anyone who request it,” she added.
Park officials are super excited about the Featured Exhibit that will be open at the park throughout the summer called “The Science of Rock N Roll.” This exhibit is sponsored by WENK/WTPR, KF99/KQ105, B104.5 and Froggy 103.7. The technology that has created the music since the early 1950s will be featured in this hands-on interactive exhibit. Guests can experience the production studio and play instruments as they learn about the technology behind rock n roll. This exhibit will be open 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday all summer.
New for 2018 is the “Member’s ONLY” Park after Dark set for June 15th. Event Director Lauren Jones said that this fun event might be worth purchasing a membership to attend! “It is a rare opportunity to experience Discovery Park of America at night,” Jones said. “We will make it extra fun for families by having all the special attractions open, bounce houses up, unique food options and special treats throughout the park that night,” she added. Other summer events include:
May 4- Movie on the Lawn (Ferdinand)
May 5- Elton Dan Concert on the Great Lawn
May 12- Cardboard Boat Regatta
May 24- VIP Dinner for Science of Rock N Roll
May 25 – 28- Military Living History Encampment on the Great Lawn
May 28- $10 Admission for Memorial Day featuring a special Memorial Day Service at 2:00 p.m.
June 15- Member’s only Park after Dark
June 23- Fourth Annual Car Show
June 30- FROGGY Concert featuring Montgomery Gentry (Tickets for sale at Casey’s)
July 4- $10 Day featuring food trucks, bounce houses music and fireworks at dusk
July 13- Illusionist Dinner- Jason Michaels performs an amazing show
July 21- Bicycle Parade Day
July 28- Rockin’ Out at the Museum
August 4th- Second Annual Antique Tractor Show
August 11th– Food Trucks in the Park
August 18th– Rockin Through the Ages
September 3rd– Labor Day- Open
September 15- The Great American Airshow
September 15th- Cornfest Concert
September 17- Cornfest Fashion Show
Plus, Libation Station is open every Thursday evening from 6:00 – 9:00 at the Train Bar. This summer, there will be different food featured each week, live entertainment and a cash bar each Thursday. There is no admission charge.
According to CEO Jim Rippy, Discovery Park of America is a great place to visit every day. “But with the addition of our trolleys, our summer camps and our many events, we expect to have a great summer at the park,” he added.
Memberships are just $30 for ages four through twelve and $60 for ages 13 and up. “The annual membership offers unlimited general admission into the park,” Rippy said. “And with the new one-half million dollar Children’s Discovery Garden this is a great place to spend the summer if you have children,” he added.
Discovery Park is a unique venue with a mission of educating children and adults and helping them see beyond their current level of knowledge. Discovery Center is the flagship of the park with its nine distinct galleries featuring Natural History, Regional History, Enlightenment, Transportation Gallery, Military Gallery, Children Exploration Gallery, Science Space & Technology Gallery and Energy Gallery. Additionally, there is an Earthquake Simulator, Starship Theater and popular Observation Tower inside Discovery Center.
The Grounds at Discovery Park offer a Log Cabin Settlement, Ag Center, Mill Ridge, European Garden, Japanese Garden, American Garden, The Chapel, Antique Full-Size Train Exhibit, Freedom Square and lovely venues for parties and weddings.
“We consistently receive a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor,” Rippy stated. “If anyone is traveling in the area, it is absolutely a must-do experience! And, they need to plan to spend the entire day at the park, and still won’t see it all,” he added.
Visit our events page for more information on these and other upcoming events.