Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum – Reno

Enlighten The Mind Of A Child

By Melissa Wynn

The mind of a child is the gateway to all great

things that the future has in store. The more

they experience the better chance they will have

the “ah-ha” moment that will shape history. One

amazing place to expose the children in your life

to a wide variety of hands-on experiments and

learning games and exhibits is the Terry Lee Wells

Nevada Discovery Museum at 490 South Center

Street in downtown Reno. By their own definition

“The Discovery is a hands-on science center

designed to spark visitors’ curiosity—regardless

of age. The museum boasts 67,000 square-feet of everchanging

galleries and exhibits focused on science, technology,

engineering, art, history and invention, all designed to inspire

curiosity, creativity and the joy of lifelong learning in all who


After bringing my granddaughter Krimzen cross-country

on her first-ever Amtrak train ride, her Grandfather and I

decided to treat her to a visit to this place of wonder where it

is not just okay to touch everything, it is actually encouraged.

Suspended from the ceiling just above main entrance the

skeleton of an ancient plesiosaurus is your first greeting,

beginning the adventure with a gasp of wonder at the sheer size

of this magnificent creature. Seventeen hours is a long time to

ask a nine year old to be still but at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada

Discovery Museum the center of attention is the interactive

exhibit known as the Cloud Climber, part water system learning

experience and part jungle gym. She was immediately inspired

to climb through. After all, why not learn how it must be to be a

raindrop when you get the chance.

In the room dubbed Inside Out: an Anatomy Experience,

Krimzen and Grandpa placed their hands

beneath the seemingly magic light that

allowed them to see the main veins inside

their hands. This fascinating area is sure

to inspire the next generation of medical

professionals covering everything

from the number of bones you have to

measuring your own brain waves as you

watch on the big screen.

Flowing from Lake Tahoe high in the

Sierra Nevada mountains to Pyramid

Lake in the lower lands of the Great Basin

the Truckee River is the life-blood water

way of western Nevada. Highlighting the

major points of interest along the way, the

Truckee Connects display, meandering

beneath the Cloud Climber, gave

Krimzen a chance to play in the water

a bit while unknowingly learning about

the recreation, irrigation, hydroelectric

power, and the wildlife habitat that

thrives along this main water shed.

The day of our visit was the first day that

visitors could design a spacecraft in a new

exhibition titled Sun, Earth, Universe.

With foam blocks and components

similar to Tinker Toys Krimzen built

one of the very first spacecrafts in the

Under The Stars gallery. Full of exhibits

to connect visitors to outer space and the

questions NASA is trying to answer about

the universe this area of the Discovery

Museum is the perfect playground for

future astronauts of America.

Now boasting eight locations

nationwide, the first Spark! Lab

Smithsonian has always called the

Discovery Museum home. Every

invention begins with the spark of an idea

and from there all the way to successful

marketing is what this exhibition is all


Over at The Shop real tools and building

materials allow young visionaries and

their parents to complete a take-home

project. Visitors are encouraged to tinker,

repurpose, upcycle, take apart and put

back together, developing the minds of

tomorrow’s architects and engineers.

When we wandered into Da Vinci’s

Corner it was hard to determine who

was having more fun, Krimzen or

Grandpa. Both had a ball playing with

the inventions of the famous prodigy of

science and mathematics. Every one of

the changing art projects and science

demonstrations give a real glimpse into

the amazing mind of the man inspired by

the fascination he found in nature and his

everyday life.

Offering adult-only discovery based

events as well, this is a fascinating visit

for any curious mind from age one to 100.

The Discovery opens at 9:00am

every Wednesday for Small Wonder

Wednesday, an hour just for families with

children age 5 and under and many adultonly

events can be found on the online

calendar of events at https://nvdm.org/

events/ .

From our visit to the Mind Bender

Mansion filled with brain teaser

exhibitions and Chinese style puzzles to

the gift shop filled with toys and games

designed to inspire and challenge the

mind, the wonderful Terry Lee Wells

Nevada Discovery Museum is a must

for families visiting Reno. We had

an adventure filled with fascination

and are sure to return each time our

grandchildren visit; it’s an amazing place

to enlighten the mind of a child.

Regular business hours:

Mon – Tue: 10:00am-5:00pm

Wed: 10:00am-8:00pm

Thu – Sat: 10:00am-5:00pm

Sun: 12:00pm-5:00pm

Admission and Discounts

$10 – children (ages 1-17)

$12 – adults

$10 – seniors (ages 65+)

Free – Under age 1

$5 per person after 4:00pm every


$1 per person general admission discount

for groups accompanied by a Veteran or

Active Duty member of the military.

Special admission rates and programs

for school field trips and groups of 20 or


Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery


490 S. Center Street


https://nvdm.org r