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Watch now: Space is theme for Day of Play in Normal

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Soon to be replaced with a new feature, the old climber still proves fun at the Children's Discovery Museum.

NORMAL — Families are encouraged to turn off the screen and get outside this weekend in uptown Normal.

In celebration of Worldwide Day of Play, the Children's Discovery Museum is offering a variety of in-person and virtual family-friendly activities, including a special guest speaker with NASA.

Day of Play will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 101 E. Beaufort St. in uptown Normal. Activities are free, and reduced admission to the Children's Discovery Museum is offered through 5 p.m. Tickets are $4.

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The nationally celebrated event, created by Nickelodeon in 2005, provides free opportunities for children and their parents to have fun while learning together. Each year more than 60 local organizations partner with the children's museum for Day of Play.

This year the museum will feature STEAM experiences and activities related to space and chemistry to celebrate the launch of the James Webb telescope, the most powerful space telescope built to date. Kids will have the opportunity to see a real space suit, design a space craft and learn about telescopes.


In this Feb. 25, 2021, file photo, Liam Stahmer, 5, Normal, left, and his brother, Zach, 8, climb through a Children's Discovery Museum exhibit. 

The museum and Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College were selected over the summer as partners in NASA's Webb Space and Telescope Community Events Initiative, which will include a Zoom event with a special guest speaker from NASA.

Other Day of Play activities include live performances and interactive demonstrations at the PNC Stage in Mark R. Peterson Plaza, a giant sand box, and a PBS Be My Neighbor Day, which seeks to teach kids how to be a good neighbor by showing kindness and empathy.

The bike rodeo and a touch-a-truck area are also returning, with free bike helmets to be distributed, as well as the Kids-Make-and-Sell station, which gives kids the opportunity to sell handcrafted goods.

As part of the event, the following roads will be closed to parking starting at 2 a.m. Saturday and closed to traffic starting at 5 a.m. Saturday: Uptown Circle; East Beaufort Street from Linden Street to Uptown Circle; West Beaufort Street from Uptown Circle to the entrance of the Uptown Station parking deck; and Constitution Boulevard from College Avenue to West Beaufort Street.

Roads will reopen by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Free parking is available in the College Avenue parking deck with overflow parking in the Trail East, Anderson Park and Chiddix Junior High lots. Hourly parking rates apply at the Uptown Station and Beaufort Street parking decks. Temporary handicap parking spaces will be available on North Broadway near Commerce Bank.

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.


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