This week has been full and fun!! We began Mr. B's 10th birthday celebration on Sunday (a day early) with our special meal out with my parents and sister (my parents are so awesome to take us all out on each birthday!). Mr. B picked Chili's this year.
On his actual birthday, Monday, he opened his gifts here at home. Then we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch (his total fave!) where we also enjoyed a birthday cookie cake. Yes, celebrations around here involve LOTS of good food! :)
Then Monday evening we drove to Union City, TN to spend the night and visit the Discovery Park of America on Tuesday. The whole family went and we had SO much fun!!
If you have never heard of the Discovery Park of America it could be because it's practically brand new! It's been open only about a year and a half. It's located in a small town about 3 hours west of Nashville but it is well worth the drive! And the ticket prices are incredibly reasonable for a museum/park of this size.
This place is massive!! It offers state-of-the-art exhibits in so many areas: Energy, Enlightenment, Military, Native Americans, Natural History, Regional History, Space, Science, & Technology, Transportation, and Children's Exploration. And that's just what's inside!!
Outdoors there are 50 more acres to explore! There is a substantial 1880's settlement, a huge barn showcasing historic farm equipment, a mill ridge that includes a grist mill, blacksmith shop, and a one-room schoolhouse. There is Freedom Square that depicts a typical main street in American in the early 1900's. The depot is a replica of a station in the 1800's plus vintage train cars to explore. And the chapel is over 100 years old and has been relocated to the grounds. They also have lovely gardens to walk through.
Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed visiting here! It was so nice to have indoor (read: air conditioned) spaces to explore in between walking around outside (read: rather warm summer day). When you go, I definitely recommend planning to spend the entire day. There is just so much to see! They have a fairly reasonably-priced cafe on the grounds so you can just take your lunch break there if you'd like (we did and enjoyed it).
They also have special exhibits that cost a bit extra, such as the earthquake simulator, the starship theater, and the observation tower. We only purchased tickets for the earthquake simulator and it was definitely worth it. You go inside a round room with a 180-degree screen where they tell the story of the New Madrid fault in this region and you get to experience what being in an earthquake might feel like. (Having been in a few earthquakes myself, the simulation wasn't very realistic but the film was definitely worth it).
All in all, it was just a lovely day! So if you live anywhere near western Tennessee or you're passing through the area, this place is a must stop!! You will not be disappointed, I promise.
Disclaimer: I received nothing in exchange for this "review" of the Discovery Park. We just liked it that much :)