This self-proclaimed dynamic regional hub engages and inspires visitors of all ages and walks to investigate the myriad wonders, possibilities, and responsibilities of modern science, tendering eager scientists and intrepid space pioneers hands-on learning opportunities through an extensive array of fascinating displays and fun and engaging permanent and rotating exhibits. In the Challenger Learning Center – an interactive space mission simulator consisting of a realistic Mission Control and Spacecraft – guests assume the roles of astronauts, scientists and engineers and set out on their choice of three critical NASA missions; in Robotics Lab, they assemble and program actual robots. “Digging Up the Past” provides the thrilling experience of a real, dig allowing the budding archaeologists amongst you to work in teams implementing specific tools, methodology and technique to excavate intriguing “ancient” relics left behind by mysterious (fictional) civilizations. Enchanting twenty-minute star shows treat the astronomers in your bunch to a dazzling introduction to the endless night sky over Sacramento in Northern California’s only public planetarium; you’ll leave with a pocket full of backyard sky watching tips! Current exhibit, “Blast from the Past: Rockin’ Rocks & Diggin’ Dinos” lets guests hear what rocks, crystals, fossils and other finds have to say about ancient life on Planet Earth. Lovers of all living things will truly enjoy the Nature Discovery Room, featuring indoor animal exhibits as well as exciting and educational programs and activities specially tailored for children; meet the amazing creatures who call the Discovery Science Center home. Bring a lunch – once you’ve explored everything there is to see, head for the woods, unpack, kick back and relax in the serenity of a picnic area surrounded by 14 acres of native flora and fauna. P.S.: don’t miss the butterfly garden!