Lynn Meadows Discovery Center celebrates 25th anniversary

Coastal landmark Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is celebrating twenty-five years of bringing the imagination of children to life.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Coastal landmark Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is celebrating twenty-five years of bringing the imagination of children to life. The historic museum is now looking ahead to the future.

Lynn Meadows opened its doors in 1998.

”We are proud of that,” says Cindy DeFrances, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center Executive Director. “And one of the things we are proud of is that we do not have a lot of technology built into our exhibits. Most of the things you have to do here is imagination-based, hands-on... parents getting involved with their child.”

The community fixture was founded by Carol Lynn Meadows and Rose Alman. The duo transformed the former Mississippi City Elementary School building into a place of imagination for children.

“They took a tragedy and turned it into something positive,” DeFrances said. “Without their forward-thinking in realizing that Mississippi was without a children’s museum. They created the first children’s museum in the state of Mississippi.”

Over 100,000 families flock to the museum each year to explore the interactive exhibits, including visitors from both in-state and out-of-state.

“They want to go to something that they can get their hands dirty or wet,” she said. “Things that they have to attend or use their imagination, and so, parents are always telling us how much they appreciate that.”

In 2016, Lynn Meadows was recognized by former First Lady Michelle Obama as a National Medal Museum.

“That had to have been the highlight of the museum over the years just because we know that we are making a difference in children’s lives,” says DeFrances.

The museum has lasted the test of time, but the team is still working to expand.

“We are big dreams here so we’re going to keep plugging along and keep fighting for those funds to do the things that we want to do,” she concluded.

Lynn Meadows is hosting a 25th anniversary celebration at the museum on Saturday. $5 tickets will be available for purchase on-site. The event is open to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no charge for members.

“We have a full day worth of entertainment. We will be having different organizations throughout the community who will be set up here,” says DeFrances. “We got the the Mississippi Aquarium coming, I9 Sports, and we’ve got the Harrison County Library System. We’ll have some special books authors who will be here reading some of their excerpts from their books or reading their books. We’ve got art activities planned. And, of course, cupcakes and lemonade. So, we’ve just got a whole day full of fun things.”

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