Museums for Children in Mississippi
Every museum needs a tree house. The Lynn Meadows Discovery Centre in Gulfport, Mississippi, sports three, tucked in among the limbs of live oaks that shade an outside play are. Climb in ad the imagination takes flight.
The museum is designed to entertain and educate children ages 10 or younger. Inside, role-playing opportunities encourage youngsters to change hats for different activities. A kid-sized model shrimp boat calls for a captain’s hat, and teatime in a bed and breakfast setting definitely requires a fancy dress hat. Putting on sombreros, children board a make-believe plane to Mexico. In other areas, science takes over, as young hands turn a crank to create electricity or push a button to form a miniature tornado in a tube.
Most museums offer something that touches a child’s curiosity, inspires the imagination and turns learning into an adventure. In, Mississippi you don’t have to look far to find them.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson has something for every member of the family. Who doesn’t get a kick out of watching a diver feed the fish in the aquarium or shiver at the sight of alligators in “The Swamp”?
The museum’s Discovery Room is designed especially for preschoolers, which activities that include story time and play with puppets. Outdoors, in a 300-acre natural area, more than two miles of walking trails lead past wetland ponds, wooded bluffs and native plantings. Each visit to the museum brings some new experience, especially when there’s a special exhibit. This summer it’s Megalodo: Largest Shark That Ever Lived.
Jackson offers other places that target specific interest. Budding astronomers or astronauts will love the sky shows at David Planetarium and the laser light concerts are simply amazing. Take your history buff to the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum / National Agricultural Aviation Museum to check out the farmstead, the sugarcane mill and the blacksmiths shop. Before leaving, sample the old-fashioned candy sticks and Moon Pies in the General Store.
Youngsters with their eye on a sports career will enjoy the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. In one area, you can be the broadcaster in the press box, calling the plays for a famous moment in Mississippi sports. Everyone, including adults, gravitates to The Participatory Room – with virtual technology, you can check out your pitching speed, tee up on a championship golf course or take a penalty kick in a soccer game.
Trains fascinate all ages. Museums dedicated to their history exhibit models, memorabilia and sometimes even an old locomotive or a red caboose. Some of Mississippi’s best are the Historic Train Depot and Museum in Canton, the Historic Corinth Depot and Crossroads Museum in Corinth and the McComb Railroad Museum in McComb.
The lure of the Mississippi River lures families to the Tunica RiverPark, which chronicles the river’s history and life along its banks. It has aquariums and walking trails through a 130-acre riverside forest. One of the highlights is getting out on the river itself aboard the Tunica Queen. And while the RiverPark Museum doesn’t have a treehouse, it does have an observation deck with a sweeping view of the Mississippi River.