Although the Discovery Playhouse opened in April, interim executive director Janet Livingston said this was a good time for the grand opening because other programs and sites geared toward children -- like Cape Splash -- opened recently and are bringing families to Cape Girardeau.
"It's amazing," said Livingston on how the playhouse has been received. "We had 3,000 guests in the first month."
The event will include art projects, face painting, street musicians, door prizes, a magician and Jason Lindsey's Hooked on Science demonstrations.
"Finally we don't have to travel to St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville or even Malden, Missouri, to enjoy a hands-on museum; it's right in our backyard," said Lindsey, who donated his presentation to the playhouse for the grand opening.
His presentation, called "All About Bugs," will involve Madagascar hissing cockroaches that the children can touch and learn about.
"This gives the opportunity for parents who are intimidated to do hands-on activities at home, to bring kids here," he said.
Other figures at the event will be Tracker, mascot for the Southeast Missourian Jr., and the Playhouse Mouse, the museum mascot. The Discovery Playhouse and Southeast Missourian Jr. held a contest in April for children to come up with a name for the mouse mascot. Five finalists were chosen out of 94 submissions and the winner will be named at the grand opening at 3 p.m. The finalist names are Nibbles, Columbus, Claus the Playhouse Mouse, Geno Girardo or Captain Discovery.
Also the new Velcro ball fall exhibit, which lets children change the position and angles of tubes before dropping balls into them, will be open. This exhibit was paid for with a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Livingston said 92 people so far have become members of the playhouse. A member gets unlimited admission for a year; invitations to openings, exhibit previews and special events; and discounts on workshops, birthday parties and gift shop purchases.
"It's great that there are more family-oriented things to do in Cape," said Krista Antill, who is a member of the Discovery Playhouse and brings her daughter, Tracy, to play.
The Discovery Playhouse grand opening will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at 502 Broadway. The playhouse admission for the grand opening is $2, half the price of regular admission fees.
502 Broadway, Cape Girardeau MO