Since Discovery Park of America opened its doors in 2013, millions of children and adults have benefited from the big idea of Robert Kirkland and the community of Union City, Tennessee to create a 100,000-square-foot museum on a beautifully landscaped, 50-acre heritage park.
As the museum looks forward to its 10th birthday in 2023, it has an entire decade of changed lives to celebrate. From the students who get to visit because their teacher took them out of the classroom for a hands-on, state-of-the-art learning experience to the families who arrive from around the world to discover something new, to adults who participate in classes, programs and panel discussions on a variety of topics, Discovery Park continues to make a big difference in the lives of visitors who come to the museum.
As one guest wrote after their visit, “It’s like your favorite millionaire uncle took a trip through time and around the world and built you a living postcard in your backyard to tell you the story.” The exhibits, galleries, programs, concerts and hands-on experiences at Discovery Park are specifically designed and implemented to open the eyes of the children and adults who visit and to inspire them to want to learn more about the world around them. A visitor to Discovery Park will experience the visual, literary, music and performing arts; interactive STEM exhibits; and opportunities to learn about the cultural heritage of the region and more.
Unique Experiences at Discovery Park of America
You literally never know what is right around the next corner. One minute you will discover exhibits on natural history, technology and aviation, while the next you will explore a man-made river flowing through the extensively landscaped property, along with waterfalls, bridges and other water features.
Discovery Park also includes an aquarium, a collection of rare, vintage automobiles, Native American artifacts and even dinosaur fossils and life-size replicas. If you have thrill seekers in the family, you will want to leave time for the Earthquake Simulator to experience the earthquake that formed Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee’s only natural lake. Follow that by sliding down the enormous Man Slide in the Simmons Bank Children’s Exploration Gallery or watch a 3D film at the newly renovated Discovery Theater. Finally, don’t miss Cooper Tower, the observation deck at Discovery Park that reaches 199 feet into the air; on a clear day you can see 15 miles to the Kentucky border.
There is no better time to visit Discovery Park than the 10th birthday in 2023. In partnership with Ducks Unlimited, a new permanent exhibit will be opened, “Duck, Duck, Goose: Waterfowl of the Mississippi Flyway.” It will explore the intersection of waterfowl hunting and conservation. Continuing the Discovery Park’s commitment to agricultural education, new greenhouses and the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion will also be opening in 2023.
Plan a Visit to Discovery Park of America
Union City is about two hours from Memphis and less than three hours from Nashville. Two nearby hotels – The Meadows Hotel, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Union City, Sleep Inn and Mainstay Suites – make it easy to plan a visit and stay awhile. Visitors will find lots of food options in Sabin’s Cafe, the museum’s on-site restaurant. And be sure to check out the museum’s calendar of events to plan the perfect time to go.
In January 2023, children ages 17 and younger can visit Discovery Park for free, and adult tickets will be only $10 for the entire month. Beginning Jan. 2, 2023, museum and park will be open Tuesday through Sunday. From March through August, Discovery Park will be open seven days a week. It’s a great year to visit the park and celebrate a decade of discovery!