Anyone with young children knows that hosting New Year’s Eve celebrations late into the night can sometimes be a struggle. But that hasn't stopped one local museum from finding a way to give kids a party of their own.
The 22nd Congressional District, which contains most of Fort Bend County, has the third-largest population of children under 5 among Texas’ 36 congressional districts, according to U.S. Census Bureau Data.
Last Friday, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center hosted a “New Year’s Noon” event that allowed for young children to have a countdown to ring in 2022 while giving their parents a chance to maintain their kids’ usual bedtimes.
The prime demographic for the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, ranges from newborns to age 12, according to spokesperson Henry Yau.
Sugar Land resident Bswa Deep said he has been taking his son, 7, to the Discovery Center for many years. Deep and his son were immersed in the circuit puzzle, one of the activities within the discovery center’s “Science Station” that allows visitors to build their own electric circuits.
“We totally love this place," Deep said. “We have been going since he was probably two or three years old. And since then we have been coming every year except for last year. This is very educational, they can have fun, and at the same time they can learn as well.
“These are the fundamental things, right? If you don't complete the circuit with the battery, or the energy source, you will not have the power flow. I just try to explain everything to the extent I can, with the hope that he's grasping it.”
The New Year’s Eve celebration began about 10 minutes before noon, when dozens of families gathered in the center of “Kidtropolis U.S.A”, an exhibit that approximates a kid-sized walkable town square with a bank, a grocery store, a newspaper publisher, a car dealership and a diner to watch a juggler perform. Following the countdown, confetti streamed from the ceilings and music played to celebrate the New Year.
But there’s a lot more to explore at the Discovery Center.
Yau and Iliana Jones, the director of visitor experience at the Discovery Center, said their rotating “Amazingly Immature” exhibit is one of the highlights for families who make the trip to the facility.
The exhibit is a collaboration with Klutz Press, which publishes the popular series of scientific and crafty how-to guides that explore how to make solar-powered toy cars or making bracelets or crafts made from clay. Yau said the exhibit takes many of the topics examined in the first two volumes of the “Klutz Encyclopedia of Immaturity” and brings them to life.
“It plays on a lot of nostalgia,” Yau said. “These books were very educational books, but also played on the wacky side of genius.”
From pulling on a tablecloth atop a table full of dishes that teaches kids about inertia to tossing playing cards and paper airplanes or turning spoons into catapults, there are opportunities for children of various age ranges, Jones said.
“I love that it shows a silly side of learning,” Jones said. “And I love the look of it. It's very bright, very inviting.”
From Jan. 11-15, the Discovery Center will host “Dreams and Things Wonder Week” featuring an opportunity to create a peace sign using recycled materials and from Jan. 18-22, visitors can learn how to make a cloud in a bottle during “Jump to it Wonder Week.”
The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
For more information, visit childrensdiscoveryfb.org or call 832-742-2800