Grand Opening – Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center

A rendering of the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.

A rendering of the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.

The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, a very special project of the Children’s Museum of Houston, will celebrate its grand opening, sponsored by Baird, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:45 am on Saturday, May 28th. The project is Imperial Market’s first retailer to open in its much-awaited commercial property development on U.S. Route 90 in Sugar Land.

Led by capital campaign co-chairs Debbie Fash, Jan Leaman, Rachel Leaman and Charlene Pate, the Museum raised more than $4 million from individuals, foundations and corporations in Fort Bend County to bring the nearly decade long dream to life. “It has been a longtime dream of mine to bring the exciting experience of learning in a Child-ren’s Museum to the children of Fort Bend. Fortunately, so many others have felt the need, and people from all over the county have joined together to make this happen,” said Pate.

Rachel Leaman, Debbie Fash and Charlene Pate.

Rachel Leaman, Debbie Fash and Charlene Pate.

Housed on the first floor of a 12,500 square-foot repurposed historical building at Imperial Market, formerly known as Imperial Sugar, six galleries will be managed as platforms for learning for children from birth to 12 years. Each gallery will be focused on the following quintessential childhood questions:

Can I Solve That? sponsored by ECOLAB®.

How Are We Alike? sponsored by McDonald’s Restaurants of Greater Houston in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston.

How Does it Work? sponsored by Ann and John Johnson.

Where Does It Come From? sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land.

Can I Do That? sponsored by Charlene Pate.

How Does My Baby Grow?

The Can I Do That? outdoor gallery.

The Can I Do That? outdoor gallery.

Each gallery will contain the following exhibits respectively:

Cyberchase – The Chase is On!:  A virtual math  adventure.

Dragons & Fairies: Where modern-day Vietnam interweaves with centuries-old folktales.

How Does It Work?: A place to get your imagination cranking.

Tot*Spot: A one-stop spot for tots.

Kidtropolis:  A Fort Bend city for kids, run by kids! This exhibit includes the following businesses:

Art Academy sponsored by OcuSOFT.®

Bank sponsored by Wells Fargo.

The Tot*Spot exhibit.

The Tot*Spot exhibit.

Bank Building sponsored by Fred and Mabel Parks Foundation.

Diner sponsored by Another Time Soda Fountain & Café.

H-E-B Market sponsored by H-E-B.

Kidtropolis Community School sponsored by Fort Bend Christian Academy.

Municipal Building sponsored by Manmeet and Paul Likhari.

News Bureau sponsored by Fort Bend Herald.

Precision Center sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land.

Vet Clinic sponsored by ABC Animal and Bird Clinic.

Hats, Gloves and Boutonnieres

Tuesday, May 3rd • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center
198 Kempner St. • Sugar Land, TX 77498

Chaired by Rachel Leaman, Debbie Fash and Charlene Pate, the 13th annual Fort Bend brunch benefiting the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center will allow guests to see a sneak peek of the Discovery Center before the grand opening. Tickets are $75 to $3,000. For more information, call 713-535-7210.

Programming will change weekly in each gallery, and the “How Are We Alike?” gallery will rotate annually to a new cultural exhibit.  Additionally, once construction for Imperial Market is completed, the Discovery Center will provide PlayWorks, an outdoor playground where you leap, jump, crawl and climb up on the Discovery Center’s south side.

The Kidtropolis exhibit at the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.

The Kidtropolis exhibit at the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.

The Museum has delivered outreach programming to low-income families living in Fort Bend since the mid 1990s. It has worked with more than 48 partners in the community to ensure underserved populations get free access to the Museum and to raise awareness about the Museum’s family learning programming. Additionally, parents in Fort Bend have benefited from the Museum’s school-based initiatives such as Parent Stars and Para Los Niños, which provide bilingual resources and support so they can increase the learning and literacy skills of their children, as well as from Afterschool Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (A’STEAM), a program designed to give children opportunities to build levels of scientific and mathematical literacy through hands-on investigations and challenges.

In 2006, a group of Fort Bend County citizens asked the Museum to consider opening a satellite location in the area. The Museum conducted summer venues at vacant retail spaces within Sugar Land Town Square, each for six weeks, during the summers of 2007 and 2008. Those summer efforts were well received with 21,000 visitors each year. The test results of the Museum’s Discovery Center at Sugar Land Town Square speak to the success of the Museum as a partner in providing this experience to Fort Bend County.

“Not only will the Discovery Center make learning fun, it will provide parents and teachers with new ways to inspire learning success in their children and students. I can’t wait to see the smiling faces of the boys and girls as they walk into the Discovery Center,” said Pate.

For more information, contact Tracy Golden at 713-535-7218 or