Science is on Tap at Mayday

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Mayday Brewery. They’ll be hosting our Science on Tap community lecture series–an initiative sponsored by the Nashville Section of the American Chemical Society. Science on Tap brings you the expertise you’ve come to expect at a Science Cafe, but in a more relaxed setting.

To celebrate the opening of our Rainforest Adventure summer exhibit, we’ll have Dr. Louise Rollins-Smith, a Pathology professor in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She has studied disease and immunity in amphibians for more than 40 years and her field projects include studies of frogs in Panama and at the Arnold Air Force Base.

“Fun with Frogs in the Rainforest and What They Can Teach Us” will be held at Mayday Brewery on Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00-9:00 pm. There is no cost to attend and Wednesdays are 2-for-1 nights at Mayday!

A Penthouse Upgrade for Pemberton

A few weeks ago we found Pemberton tangled in the netting at the front of her enclosure. We still don’t know what prompted her to fly to the front of her aviary but suspect it may have been another bird or mammal wandering through Nature Play. Despite Pemberton’s anxious state, we do want to commend the work of our Discovery Center animal care team in keeping her calm and preventing serious injury until our vet was able to come onsite. With the assistance of Dr. Kyle Daniel, we were able to safely remove Pemberton from the wire and vinyl threads tangled around her beak, feet, and wings. She had a few small cuts and scrapes from the adventure, but all were easily treated with topical antibiotics.

One of the positives of this experience was that it highlighted some changes that would make Pemberton’s enclosure safer and more comfortable for her. Eric and Jack spent the last week putting these upgrades in place. The netting and wire mesh surrounding her enclosure have been replaced. The entire enclosure was deep cleaned, re-stained, sealed, and received new mulch. Eric also crafted a sign with Pemberton’s name that will be accompanied by a panel explaining how Pemberton came to live at Discovery Center and how we continue to care for her.

If you still haven’t been out to see Pemberton, her enclosure is located in Nature Play. While she is used for educational programming, you can usually find her ducked into the shadows of her aviary.

It’s Shakesbeer Time at Murfree Spring

We put three of your favorite things–Star Wars, local brews, and method actors–into one great event! At this point, you might be wondering just how we can make all of this jive. Well we’ve got great brewers like Mos Alesley, Emerald Abbey, and Smackdab that have wholeheartedly embraced our May the 4th theme to bring you beers like Liquid Carbonite Stout, Hop Solo, The Jar Jar Special, and Death Star Mash. So now that you know we’ve married Star Wars and beer, you want to know where William Shakespeare comes in to play. The Bard is our inspiration for bringing Murfreesboro Little Theatre, M-PROV, and Inebriated Shakespeare into the mix. They’ll perform a variety of scenes, sonnets, improv games, and original material, and that’s where the magic happens. What if Romeo & Juliet was rewritten with the cast of Star Wars in mind? Would the Empire Strikes Back have been as much of a nail-biter if it had been written as a sonnet instead?

Come to the Discovery Center at 7:00pm tonight and find out! Tickets are just $40 at the door and designated driver tickets are available for $15. Eat before you come or enjoy some good eats available for purchase from FlyBoys, City Kitchen, or the Chicken Shack Express!  We’ll have overflow parking and a shuttle available from the city parking lot adjacent to Gold’s Gym on North Church Street. All proceeds from Shakesbeer benefit Discovery Center! Last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank our event sponsor, Franklin Synergy Bank, for their ongoing support.

It’s Not too Late for Summer Camp at Discovery Center

Results from an unofficial poll are in and May officially rivals December as the busiest month for parents, teachers, and museum employees! Are you just waiting until school is out before focusing on your summer plans? Does a weeklong playdate at grandma’s need to be rescheduled? Whatever your reasons, we’ve got the solution. Camp Discovery is a great way for kids to spend the summer engaged and actively learning! Camps are offered for children entering Kindergarten – 5th grade.

Summer camps at Discovery Center begin on Tuesday, May 29 and run through Friday, August 3. The camp day runs from 9:00 am – 4:00, but before and after care is available to accommodate work schedules at just $20 for the week. Weeklong camps are $200 and 4-day camps are $160 which can be offset by a $25 discount if your membership is up-to-date. We’re also adding even more value this year in a new fashion. Both breakfast AND lunch are being provided to campers all summer long courtesy of the CHOW Bus program!  Just click on the dates below to register your little explorer for the best camp in town.

Creative Maker (4-day camp)
May 29 – June 1
July 2 – 5 (No camp on Wednesday, July 4)


Robot Workshop
June 4 – 8
July 30 – August 3

Rainforest Adventure
June 11 – 15
July 23 – 27

Lights in Life
June 18 – 22
July 16 – 20

Beautiful Oops
June 25 – 29
July 9 – 13

Now that you’re completely impressed and ready for camps to start, we’ve got a little more good news for you. SPARK! Camps have returned for another summer. These great offerings meet the needs of our campers ages 4-5 (not entering Kindergarten next fall) and are offered in full or half-day options. SPARK! Campers can choose from a Rainforest Adventure or Beautiful Oops camp each month. This is a great option for children preparing to enter a preschool or school readiness program for the first time and works well for parents that just need a few days of camp here and there without committing to a full week. Half day options are from 9:00am – 12:30pm at a daily rate of $30 and full day options operate on a 9:00am – 4:00pm schedule at $40 per day. Members receive a $5 discount on each SPARK! daily camp registration.

Click here to choose day and time registration options.

Take Our New Exhibits For a Spin

Three. New. Exhibits. That’s right, we’re going to have a total of three new exhibits in a three week span! The easiest to spot is our brand new Everbright light panel. Last weekend saw the installation and unveiling of our We Are Tennessee mural, and Rainforest Adventure will officially open on May 12.


While the official name is still in the works, we couldn’t wait to put this new light play exhibit on the floor. For all you 80’s & 90’s babies out there, this is the grand supreme Lite Brite. Instead of tiny little pegs that hurt when you step on them or present a choking hazard to children, this features 464ish dials that change color as you turn them. Unlike a Lite Brite, designs can be saved then recalled and displayed again using a companion app. Early response to this new exhibit has been incredibly popular and is as much fun for kids as is it the adults remembering their technicolor-filled childhoods.

We Are Tennessee

Located on the walls surrounding the upstairs elevator, We Are Tennessee is a new mural that simply feels like coming home. Designed in the style of a “Road to Tennessee” quilt, this mural is filled with depictions of what it means to be a Tennessean and cultural identity. More than 110 submissions were entered for consideration. Selected works involve paintings, photographs, poetry, and prose that highlight the unique differences and unifying characteristics of the people that call Tennessee home. The mural is chill-inducing yet comforting, humble but powerful, and the perfect mix of vibrance and nostalgia. This mural is a permanent installation, but we recommend that you come to see it as soon as you can.

Rainforest Adventure

Embark on a tropical rainforest adventure at the Discovery Center and learn all about life in a rainforest habitat! The museum’s newest traveling exhibit, Rainforest Adventure, opens May 12.

Swing like a Spider monkey, discover a rodent that weighs over a hundred pounds, and learn about a beetle that can carry over 850 times its own weight. Visitors can explore one of the least known habitats on earth in a fully interactive maze exhibit, chock full of the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest.

The journey begins in the highest treetops surrounded by migratory birds and radiant sunlight. In an effort to reach the forest floor, visitors answer questions about the rainforest. Incorrect answers lead to dead-ends while correct answers lead them deeper into the four layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory and forest floor.

Rainforest Adventure offers visitors an interactive experience that empowers visitors to make a difference after they learn how essential rainforests are to human health and survival, and that by caring for the rainforest they are caring for the planet.