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Orpheum Children's Science Museum

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Address: 346 N Neil St, Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, IL 61820-3614
Phone Number:
+1 217-352-5895
13:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Fri 10:00 - 16:00
Sat - Sun 13:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Serving some 17,000 visitors annually, the OSCM is a regional, non-profit,...

Serving some 17,000 visitors annually, the OSCM is a regional, non-profit, organization that is committed to scientific literacy, encouraging learning and imagination through play and experimentation. Located in downtown Champaign, the Museum's 9400 square feet are made up of more than 20 hands-on, discovery-based exhibits that reveal fundamentals in mechanics, navigation, anatomy, hydrology, paleontology, and more as well as a newly restored theater. Its theater is a historic community treasure that the Museum is actively engaged in restoring to accommodate local youth performance communities and traveling children's science exhibits. We serve local schools, providing field trips and group visits. Additionally, we provide camps, clubs, special events, after school, and weekend programs on a variety of topics. Rental space is available for birthday parties, weddings, and corporate parties. -History- Established in 1994. The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1914 as part of vaudeville's legendary Orpheum Circuit, staging performances by the likes of Will Rogers and Harry Houdini. Its interior featured a breathtaking model of the Versailles Opera House. But by 1989 the theater had been abandoned, forgotten until it was purchased as a site for a parking deck. Then the community began a preservation effort. So began a non-profit community center that provides hands-on, discovery-based science & art programs regardless of income. We have rehabbed the lobby to house exhibits, serving some 17,000 annually. The Orpheum raised $500K, rehabbed the structural damage, and restored the ceiling and walls. It has engaged patrons to retrofit the space with an energy efficient geothermal system and is on the threshold of opening the 7500 sq ft space for community performances.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 21 reviews
Visitor rating
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    Very good
  • 9
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  • 1
My 3 year old granddaughter loves to play here!

My daughter and her family have a membership to the museum so I was able to get in free with her and my granddaughter. There are tons of activities for kids to do here. I was... read more

Reviewed 15 November 2016
Champaign, Illinois
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21 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 21: English reviews
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I took my 2 & 3 year old's to the museum & they loved it! Plenty of activities to keep them interested and busy. We stayed for around 2 hours but they would have liked to stay & play longer. Glad we found this little museum! Perfect for the 2-3 year olds!

Thank ILrelax
Champaign, Illinois
Level Contributor
209 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2016

My daughter and her family have a membership to the museum so I was able to get in free with her and my granddaughter. There are tons of activities for kids to do here. I was surprised by the activities that were outside as well. Some of them are better suited to older kids. I was happy to see they... More 

Thank AliceDilts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 11 November 2016 via mobile

I come from a rather decent sized town, and the museum there is in no comparison to this one. My three year old loved it here, we spent over four hours playing. Defiantly worth the $5 admission. It may not be huge but there is a wide variety of activities. If we weren't just passing through town this would defiantly... More 

Thank 2039585b
CaramelD1_9, General Manager at Orpheum Children's Science Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for your positive review! Please visit us again. R. Dunn, Executive Director. More 

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
116 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2016

A small but fun children's museum. Exhibits include animal displays, climbing areas/slide, sand area, water table, and bubble table. Kids will have fun for hours. Don't forget to go to the (even smaller) second floor/mezzanine, as there are a few things up there as well!

1 Thank supapfunk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2016

As a professional nanny, I have taken children to the Orpheum for many years. They continue to grow and add activities. The children I have taken are in the ages of 2-9, with most being pre-schoolers. The kids love going there. This is not a big place, but we usually spend about 3 hours there and the children are usually... More 

Thank DeanneK57
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
92 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2015

My kids had a blast but my wallet did not like the price we paid for this miniature version of a museum. Many of their exhibits were out of order or broken, but the staff was friendly and what little they had was pretty cool.

2 Thank MichellesCharmWorld
Mena, Arkansas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2015

We visited with our two children and niece. It was okay. This was a couple of years ago, so they may have changed some things. There just really wasn't much there, and what was there wasn't in the best condition. It was lacking a lot of finish details. There was exposed plywood in some of the exhibits. Everything was kind... More 

3 Thank BarefootArkansas10
Elgin, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2015

On our last trip to the Champaign-Urbana area, my entire family visited the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum and we had a good time. We dropped by on a Sunday afternoon about 10 minutes before the museum officially opened at noon. A birthday party was just wrapping up while we waited for opening time. It’s obvious that the museum used to... More 

Thank Amanda O
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2015 via mobile

Came here with my 4 year old son. Wasn't expecting much based on the size of the building and the admission. I have to say, my son was very happy to be there. He mostly wanted to do larger exhibits such as the water table and boat/castle. He didn't want to do the science stations that much. But once he... More 

2 Thank Julz90
Addison, Texas
Level Contributor
49 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2014 via mobile

We were here on a weekend when they had special events which were really fun. However, I think if you just went when there weren't special things, it might be a short visit.

Thank Debi Y

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