Last updated: February 19. 2014 8:18AM - 796 Views

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Matt Harrelson


ROCKINGHAM — It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Discovery Place KIDS opened up its doors in downtown Rockingham.

This weekend, on Feb. 22 and 23, the interactive children’s museum will celebrate its first birthday.

Katie Rohleder, director of Discovery Place KIDS Rockingham, said there are numerous things prepared to entertain kids on Saturday and Sunday.

“Starting at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday there will be a members breakfast in the hub,” said Rohleder. “There’s no charge and anyone that buys a membership between now and then would be invited as well. So far there are 100 members who have R.S.V.P’d for the breakfast.”

There will also be a very large birthday cake that is being prepared by Walmart to accommodate at least 200 people that show up for the breakfast, said Rohleder.

At 10 a.m., the nonprofit museum will officially open its doors to the public and there will be a half-priced admission charge for the rest of the weekend.

“I think we’ll be busy both days,” said Rohleder. “For those that can’t make it on Saturday or those who can’t make it on Sunday.”

Included in the weekend’s festivities will be birthday crowns for the kids to wear, a new screen printing on posters project for children to make and take home and door prizes from local businesses that will run all weekend. There will also be new toys for the water table — a table in a recently renovated room downstairs that will be ready by the weekend — and a new puppet show which will be a first for Discovery Place KIDS Rockingham.

In addition to all of that, a birthday party isn’t complete without party favor bags.

“We’re gonna prepare for 500 kids to leave with a favor bag,” Rohleder said. “We literally expect to fill up the place.”

Jessica Bennet, coordinator for Discovery Place KIDS Rockingham, said the first year has passed quickly.

“It just seems like yesterday we were cleaning up after everyone on the first day,” Bennet said.

Can Can, the museum’s big green mascot, will be making appearances throughout the weekend as well as entertainer Mr. Big Fun from Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville.

“There’s going to be a lot of activities going on all day long,” Rohleder said.

Bennet said they are doing a birthday party promotion to celebrate the one year birthday as well.

“Anyone who books a party before the end of February and has the party before the end of December will receive 10 percent off,” Bennet said.

Bennet also said Discovery Place KIDS Rockingham has joined Twitter under the handle @dpkrockingham.

“It’s a way to keep people informed of what we’re doing,” said Bennet. “We put pictures and information like half priced admission on there.”

The museum has experienced big numbers in its first year of existence, and with the inclusion of the new Steele building project across the street, Discovery Place KIDS hopes to keep that going in the coming years.

“We hosted 119 birthdays in the first year,” said Rohleder. “Our attendance since opening is 50,171. This celebration is something we plan on doing annually.”

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