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  • Children's Discovery Center Celebrates Fall Activities for Families

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    October 13, 2020
    The Felix Adler Children's Discovery Center, "Clinton, Iowa's Children's Museum!”  has planned many great activities and programs for families to enjoy fall, including hosting a community pumpkin giveaway and many educational programs.

    Funtime Friday and Funtime Saturday, October 16 and 17:  Signs of Fall  
    This week on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17, children and families can enjoy the program The Signs of Fall.  Leaves, seeds, pumpkins and blustery weather will be experienced in creative ways.
    Funtime Friday, the Discovery Center’s long-running morning program for young children and their gown-ups, is now being offered on Saturdays, too.

    The Funtime Friday program is at 10:30 every Friday morning, and the Funtime Saturday program will now be 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning.  This will offer more families the opportunity to participate in the popular program and offer more flexibility for families’ busy schedules.

    The program is literacy based and designed to support the developmental needs and school success skills of young children, although all ages are always welcome.  Each week brings a different theme which is explored through reading a story book and engaging in related hands-on activities. Weekly activities are different and varied and might include music, dance and movement, science experiments and demonstrations, holiday and cultural fun, arts and craft creations, guest presenters, biology and nature, guided exploration throughout the children’s museum, and others.

    The programs require no advance registration and participation is free with regular museum admission. Families participating will be socially distanced and masks are required.

    Saturday, October 17, Jetter Community Center Drive-Through Pumpkin Giveaway
    On Saturday, October 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Discovery Center will partner with another local organization to help them fulfill their mission.
    The Discovery Center will host and be the site for the Vinson H. Jetter Community Center Drive-Through Pumpkin Giveaway. 
    The event will be held outside in the small Discovery Center parking lot to the west.  The small lot is located on the side of the building next to the South Fourth Street one-way.  Families are asked to drive one direction through the parking lot -- entering from the south end by the front of the Discovery Center and driving north to exit on to 7th Avenue South.

    As families drive through in their cars, volunteers will hand them pumpkins.  Volunteers will wear masks and gloves and safe distancing will be practiced.

    The giveaway is one pumpkin per child, while the supply lasts.  The pumpkins have been generously donated by McGinnis Melons, of Thomson, Illinois.

    This is the 25th year for a pumpkin event organized by the Vinson H. Jetter Community Center. 

    Saturday Special, October 17:  Pumpkin Painting
    Saturday Special is held every Saturday afternoon, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. This Saturday, October 17,
    brings pumpkin painting.  Tap into your artistic talents and decorate a pumpkin for display this season.  Participants can bring their own pumpkin or have one provided to adorn and take home.  Families participating will be socially distanced and masks are required.

    The Saturday Special program requires no advance registration and participation is free with regular museum admission.  The program is geared for school-aged children and their grown-ups although all ages are always welcome.  Each week presents an opportunity for hands-on learning with topics including science demos, art techniques, engineering challenges, musical exploration, games, cultural topics, and much more.

    Upcoming topics include: 
    October 24, Candy Corn Craziness -- Come explore the scientific, artistic, mathematical, sculptural, and general awesomeness of experimenting with candy corn.

    October 31, Halloween Crafts -- Halloween will be a busy day in our area.  Guests can visit the children’s museum to see the costumed staff and explore a station full of holiday crafts.

    Special Exhibit:  Maze of America
    Discovery Center guests can explore a favorite annual exhibit:  the cardboard maze.  This year’s creation is the Maze of America.  Children and families are invited to navigate the giant construction, read their way through, and vote with their feet on preferences from foods, to activities, to favorite colors.  The focus of the playful lesson is on forming opinions, deciding, and voting.

    The maze was designed and built by Discovery Center staff and volunteer Paul Hopkins, a local music educator and long-time friend of the children’s museum.     

    Birthday Parties at the Discovery Center
    The Discovery Center has two private party rooms available for party and special event rental, and reservations are now being taken. 

    Families can choose from The Castle or the Discovery Woods, with each room each adorned with hand-painted murals. Each room has a kitchenette and tables and chairs for guests.  There are no restrictions on food that may be brought in.  Room rental includes admission to the children’s museum for all party guests.  Face masks must be properly worn at the Discovery Center but may be removed inside the party room when eating and drinking. 

    Arm painting is also an available option for families hosting parties at the Discovery Center.  To enhance safety, the Discovery Center has transitioned to arm painting, rather than their much-loved face painting.  Arm painting uses a plexiglass window on a stand to separate the painter and the paintee.  The window sits on top of a table and provides just enough clearance for the paintee to put his or her arm under for painting.  And, while wearing masks, communication and friendliness can still be enjoyed.  They Discovery Center has been using this arm painting method successfully since offering it at the LumberKings’ stadium on the Fourth of July, and at the recent Downtown Clinton Fall Fest.

    Please call the Discovery Center to check party room date and time availability and to make reservations.

    New Hours & New Way to Stay Safe and Play
    The Discovery Center is open adjusted hours and is following a procedure for “the new way to stay safe and play.”  Hours are Fridays and Saturdays with a morning play period from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and an afternoon play period from 2:30 to 5 p.m.  The mid-day closure is a time for museum staff to sanitize and disinfect all surfaces and to replace all toys and costumes.  On Sundays, the Discovery Center is open for an afternoon play period from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Toy rotation, sanitizing and disinfecting is done again at the end of each day.

    Face masks are required for everyone ages two and older.  Guests may wear their own masks or they may get one at the Discovery Center.  Disposable masks are available for purchase for $1.  If cloth face masks are preferred, they are available to rent for $1. The cloth masks were hand-sewn for the Discovery Center by the Clinton County Mask Task Force volunteers.

    Guests are asked not to bring in food or snacks to be eaten during general playtimes.  The only food allowed is for scheduled private parties held inside the closed party rooms. 

    Also, as a precaution, members of the public who are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, other coronavirus symptoms or who have been in close contact with someone who is ill with COVID-19, are asked to not enter the Discovery Center at this time. 

    The mission of the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center is to provide a safe and positive environment for families to discover the world by exploring arts, culture, literacy and science through educational programs and interactive exhibits.  They turn no one away based on inability to pay.

    The Discovery Center is located at 332 8th Avenue South in downtown Clinton, Iowa, at the foot of the U.S. 30 Bridge over the mighty Mississippi – where the Lincoln Highway meets the Great River Road.

    Museum admission is $4 per person ages two to 64, $3 per person ages 65 and older, free for children one and younger, and free for members of the children's museum.
    Contact them at (563) 243-3600, email at info@adlerdiscoverycenter.org or message them on Facebook at FelixAdlerChildrensDiscoveryCenter.

    Sarah Lind, Executive Director
    discoverycenter@qwestoffice.net, (563) 243-3600