It has been a while since I went to the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, KS, but when I heard about the new exhibit, I decided it was time to take another trip to the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Their new exhibit "Mission Aerospace" seemed perfect for me, as a child I was certain that I was going to be an astronaut, and so I thought that there is no better time than the present to go!
For those not familiar, the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, KS was originally opened in 2012. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is over 35,000 square feet and was a vision brought to life by many local officials, consultants, State Officials, volunteers, contractors, and more! The Flint Hills Discovery Center is located in the South end of Manhattan's redevelopment district and sits adjacent to Blue Earth Plaza, it is also near Downtown Manhattan, KS.
The museum is dedicated to the Flint Hills of Kansas. Its mission is to provide knowledge of not only the importance of the Flint Hills to our world's ecosystem but also to encourage the exploration of this unique and amazing landscape.
The Discovery Center is how the Flint Hills Discovery Center is known locally. The Discover Center is made up of interactive exhibits, permanent exhibits, traveling exhibits, an amazing theater, and a beautiful prairie scape plaza that can be enjoyed while visiting the museum and for special events. The current and upcoming exhibits can be found on the discovery center's website.
The permanent exhibits range from Prairie Playscape, Explore the Flint Hills, Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail, and the immersive theater. The Prairie Playscape is located on the second floor and is a place for children to explore and learn about the plants and animals of the tallgrass prairie. Passing through this area you can head to the Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail. This expansive space is located on the backside of the Discover Center. It allows visitors to explore some of the native species of the Tallgrass Prairie.
The exhibit, "Explore the Flint Hills," is a mixture of several exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about the history of the prairie, how the prairie was formed, the Native Americans who lived here, why we burn, and how the grassland grows. Part of the exhibit takes you "underground" to see how deep the grass grows through the flint rock.
One of my favorite places every time I go to the Discovery Center is the Horizon Ranch Flint Hills Theater. This immersive theater offers a 180-degree viewing experience that encompasses all your senses and visually shows the beauty of the prairie while allowing visitors to see what year-round on the prairie looks like.
Visitors will find not only the museum a fun place to explore but also the area of town. With many hotels nearby, the area offers those who come many options that are easily walkable and fun for the entire family!