Information on:

Orpheum Children's Science Museum

346 North Neil Street

Our Mission in Action :

To promote the continued exploration and understanding of the importance of science through engaging exhibits and innovative programming, creating an atmosphere where imagination, learning and fun combine to encourage a life-long interest in science. We are a founding member of the Museums at the Crossroads, which raises awareness of the museums of Champaign County.


The New Orpheum Theatre opened on October 19, 1914 as both a vaudeville theater and a "moving picture" house. All the great stars of the Orpheum Theatre Circuit played Champaign, and it was considered to be the finest theater in downstate Illinois. The Orpheum is a one-third scale model of the opera hall at Versailles and one of the earliest designs of the prestigious architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp of Chicago.

The theater closed in 1986. It sat unused and largely forgotten until 1989 when the Preservation and Conservation Association began its campaign to preserve the theater. In 1994 it was purchased by The Discovery Place, Inc. The nonprofit Board renovated 6750 sq. ft. for a hands-on science demonstration museum and opened the doors on December 27, 1994. In 1996 the name was changed to the Orpheum Children's Science Museum.

Phase II, underwritten by grants from the U.S. Geological Survey and Illinois First, was completed in 2000. The vestibule, lobby, and mezzanine were renovated.


Kim Dessen

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
The museum itself was nice. The kids liked the outdoor area and spent a lot of time at the water table and the coloring on the walls. Halfway through our visit they opened the gates and released all the camp kids with no supervision. They ran, pushed, grabbed and didn’t share and blocked my children from entering the boat or the space area. We ended up leaving earlier than planned and less than happy.

Stephanie Vaughan

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
This is a nice enough place to spend the afternoon. I think we spent 3 hours there before running out of things to do. I like their outdoor exhibits on paleontology, archeology, whisper disks (the best whisper disks I've experienced!). They also have giant bubbles but on our windy day it didn't really work, maybe because of the wind or maybe the solution was poor. The water play zone is a always a favorite at any children's museum and my kids spent a lot of time there. There were a few exhibits closed during construction and a few that really needed some maintenance.

Matt Sly

Thursday, July 5, 2018
I really want to give this more stars, because I really want to see Champaign-Urbana have a great children's science museum. A number of people have put a great deal of effort into making great components of this space. Unfortunately it doesn't come together very well. It has seen very free updates and doesn't measure up to the children's museums in Decatur or Normal. That being said, the staff are great and having a birthday party there is certainly a great time.

Debbie Klein

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
5$ to get in. Grandkids loved it, a lot of the areas are non operating especially in the vet room, but the concept and dress up was still appreciated. Interesting old building . Though it's geared towards 10 and under my older grandchildren found things to do . The outside section was closed due to weather. Many secret spaces to entertain the kids. We spent about 2 hour here.

Samantha Lillico

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018
It was a cute place that we could get out for an hour and let our kids run around. It isn't very big though and some of the stuff was broken.

Orpheum Children's Science Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media