The greater Sandhills region’s children will now be able to visit and benefit from Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham.
The brand new interactive children’s learning museum, located at 233 E. Washington St. in downtown Rockingham, will offer exhibits where children from all over the region can learn, play, explore and build on skills.
Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham grand opening ceremonies will begin promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday with a ribbon cutting and remarks from Discovery Place KIDS–Rockingham campaign cabinet members, elected officials, and Discovery Place, Inc. staff. Key participants include State Senator Gene McLaurin, Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, Richmond County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kenneth Robinette, City Manager Monty Crump and Discovery Place, Inc. President & CEO John Mackay.
After grand opening ceremonies, the museum will remain open until 5 p.m. On Sunday operating hours will be noon to 5 p.m. Admission on both days will be half price; $4 for adults and children age 1 and older (younger than age 1 are free). Admission proceeds from the weekend will be designated to a fund that will provide future access to the museum to those without the financial means to support a visit.
Rockingham and Hamlet children will be playing and learning beside children from Anson, Montgomery and Moore counties, as well as Chesterfield and other nearby counties in South Carolina.
“People from throughout the Sandhills region and beyond have expressed excitement and anticipation over the newest arrival in the Discovery Place, Inc. family,” said Logan Stewart, Manager, Marketing & Public Relations for Discovery Place, Inc.
“During the development and launch of Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham we expected it to draw significant regional attention. As we’ve continued our outreach efforts it’s energizing to see people eagerly asking questions, even from central and coastal North Carolina and areas including the Pee Dee, Low-country and Midlands of South Carolina,” Stewart said.
Colinda Petrus and her 16-month-old daughter Ella said they will be coming from Southern Pines.
“It’s way closer than Raleigh,” said Petrus. “This is so cool. We took Ella to the Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, which is nice but it’s not good for her because it’s not interactive. And Rockingham is such an easy drive.”
Parents like Steve and Colinda Petrus make good candidates for a museum membership at Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham. Their daughter Ella is a toddler and can grow into the museum; the older she gets the more she can try out and learn. Petrus sees the benefit in year-round attendance.
“I just love this idea because in the winter, weather is awful and in the summer it’s too hot out,” said Petrus. “Right now Ella is crawling, and putting puzzles together. She’s starting to explore off the ground. She’s right at that age of being inquisitive. I love the idea of making learning fun. I’m totally going to go to the grand opening.”
Discovery Place KIDS is an innovative model in regional children’s museums developed by Discovery Place, Inc., the parent company of Discovery Place and Charlotte Nature Museum. Discovery Place KIDS is built on the theme of “I CAN” and offers unique opportunities for learning through play for children and their parents or caregivers. For more information about Discovery Place KIDS, call 704-372-6261 or visit discoveryplaceKIDS.org.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.