We Couldn’t Discover It All!

Written by: Rodney Wilson
Charlie discovers the amazing world of swirling water.

Grandkids arrived from West Fargo, and as is normal with grandparents, we have their day booked with lots to do. We want them to go home amazed at how fun it is at Grandma and BePa’s house in Minot. Their ages? Carter is 12, Charlie is 9, Addely is 6 and Silas is 3. Yeah, that’s a pretty big age span…what can you do that can keep them all occupied and interested for a couple of hours, at the minimum.

Having toured the Magic City Discovery Center on several occasions, it was first on our list of destinations, and the Discovery center certainly did not disappoint. We’ll sum it up it quickly, we discovered, but we didn’t have time to discover it all. Walking in the door the energy level went from zero to a 10, well maybe a 10+. Kids and adults, of all ages, were busy jumping from exhibit to exhibit. The young man at the front desk welcomed us and promoted the 4 floors of exhibits, and be sure not to miss the water exhibits downstairs.

Having been on a couple of tours of the MC Discovery center, I was wise to the water exhibits. How is that? We had adults get absolutely soaked on one of our tours, so the water exhibits would be our last stop.
We started with mirrors. Our 3 year old grandson was just amazed. Soon he drug grandma through the exhibit. Over here BePa (my granddaughter’s name for me) as I felt a tug on my hand. Look at this. She had made an airplane and now was trying to fly it into a target. Then there was the parachute game. Hook the parachutes to a pulley system and lift them to the ceiling where they are released and float softly to the ground. My oldest grandson, Carter, soon mastered the art of hooking up 3 or 4 parachutes and watching them race to the ground.

Addely pumps the water into a large tube.

To our right was what you see from the outside as you head north on Broadway, the now famous Climber exhibit. Now back in the days of the VIP tours, it was an oil derrick, a wind mill and a B 52. Makes perfect sense, oil, agriculture and the Minot Air Force Base. All very important to Minot. However, one could never imagine the activity level of the kids as they conquer the various climbing challenges of this exhibit. Carter is normally afraid of heights, but was amazed when he climbed into the B52 and could overlook Minot. Each kid was able to experience a different level of climbing, and that is what makes the Magic City Discovery Center so special.

I thought we would spend the most time at the water exhibits, but I can honestly tell you that the Air Force area with their silk-multicolored kerchiefs and the soft balls that would move around a ginormous tube, held all 4 of the kids’ attention for at least 30 minutes. As kids will do, they stretched the boundaries a bit. I watched kids gather a handful of kerchiefs and fling them into the blower that pushed them up, up and over the glass. We all laughed together as they came back to earth on top of someone’s head.

Addely & Silas watch silk neckerchiefs disappear into a vacuum.

Water-Water Everywhere
So down we go, to the glass, stainless steel and puddle area referred to as Water World. I just can’t explain everything that happens here, except that the Magic City Discovery Center has wisely provided water proof aprons for the kids. I helped a youngster with one of the exhibits that I call the plumbers world. Getting water from point “A” to point “B”.

He was doing real well until he turned the water pressure up, and well I got soaked. Out of the corner of my eye I caught my youngest grandson about ready to pour a scoop of water onto his sister’s head. Hey, it’s only water, I guess. Roughly 30 minutes later, we had a very tuckered 3 year old that was ready for his afternoon nap (heck grandpa was ready for an afternoon nap, too). So we bid the Magic City Discover “farewell”, with a promise that we would, for sure, have to return and spend another 3 hours there.

So much to do at the water area.

Having worked in Minot and raised my family here, I am always happy when I catch accolades from out of state visitors about something special in the Magic City.

I know there are other discovery type exhibits in other cities, but as one lady from Canada said on our short elevator ride to the top floor, “What a fun place, even for people our age, eh?” Yes, what a fun place, for people of any age. The Magic City Discovery Center, a tribute to the vision and tenacity of those who have worked hard to bring this dream to reality.

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