Discovery Lab: Learning Disguised as Fun!
The tape tunnel and slide are popular attractions!
We love going to Discovery Lab, and we’ve missed our excursions there during the pandemic. We’ve been slowly re-emerging and weighing each activity carefully as far as COVID risks go. The adults in our family have been fully vaccinated, but our grandchildren are too young to be vaccinated. We’ve limited most of our activities to outdoors when possible. Looking into the safety precautions Discovery Lab is taking, I decided it was a safe outing, so my daughter, my two grandkids, and I decided to go. Fortunately, my daughter knew that reservations are required, and she did that online the night before.
Discovery Lab is currently located at 560 N. Maybelle Ave., which is northwest of downtown Tulsa. Because we live in south Tulsa, it’s a bit of a drive for us, but it’s worth it. The parking is free and close to the building. It was easy to maneuver two kids and a stroller from the car to the entry, a factor I always consider on outings.
The first significant change is that they are strictly limiting the number of people allowed at a time. Online reservations are required, with a choice between morning or afternoon sessions that are two and a half hours long. The number of people inside was enough to make it fun and limited enough to feel COVID safe. Besides allowing for social distancing, I preferred the limited numbers because we could keep track of one another easier.
Other COVID safety precautions include temperature screening at the entrance, physical distancing cues at exhibits, new hospital-grade MERV-13 installed, and mask requirements for staff and guests ages nine and older. There are also hand sanitizing stations throughout the lab and play spaces. The operating hours have been adjusted to allow for deep cleaning between the morning and afternoon sessions.
Callister loved the Light Bright screen.
We went into the room with the hands-on science activities first. The giant light bright screen was eye-catching, and even six-month-old Sylvia was able to grab one and put it into place. Callister was particularly fascinated with the slinkies that went down the conveyor belt. Some of the activities in that room were probably better suited for older kids, but it was still interesting and educational.
She needed a little help but was fascinated by the bright colors!
Of course, the big attraction is the play area! Callister is now old enough to climb all over everything and absolutely loved going through the tape tunnel and down the tape slide over and over again. He also loved the tires and the hot lava obstacle course. There is so much to do! Your kids will be happy for the two-and-a-half-hour session. I love the toddler area where little ones can do some exploring without fear of being trampled by the big kids! I appreciate the benches scattered throughout the play area so I could sit and feed Sylvia, rest, and still keep an eye on the activity.
The toddler area is perfect for the little ones!
There is currently no food or drinks allowed inside, but there is a park right outside the door. During nice weather, we’ve enjoyed taking a picnic along for afterward. In the summer, there is also a splash pad at the park. It makes for a fun day, and I promise the kids will take a nice nap!
New Location: Coming Late 2021!
The exciting news is that Discovery Lab will soon be moving to a brand new building and will be next-door neighbors to the Gathering Place at 31st and Riverside! The new space will be large – 50,000 square feet with interactive exhibits and programming space. Included in this is The WorkShop, Science Lab, and Little Lab. Other amenities at the new site will include an Education Center, merchandise shop, café, amphitheater, and designated on-site parking. The new museum will also serve as the STEM Center for Tulsa Public Schools Pre-K through fifth grade. Discovery Lab’s new building is expected to open in late 2021!
As exciting as the new building will be, I advise you to take advantage of Discovery Lab now. With the smaller crowds, it’s a fun way to spend a few hours with the kids in an educational and fun atmosphere! I consider it a low-stress outing for parents and grandparents. Just make sure you make your reservations online ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
The slinky on the conveyor belt was also a favorite!
560 N. Maybelle Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74127
Ages 2 and up: $8
Children under 2: Free
Guest with Member: $8
Teachers: Free when you present your current school staff ID
Groups of 10+ with a reservation: $6 (For group visits, please see information on field trips.)
All children visiting Discovery Lab must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older. For safety, we ask that all adult visitors supervise the children in their party. All adults visiting Discovery Lab must have a child in their group to enter. Face masks are required for guests nine and older.