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.


Dustin Plunkett

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018

The place it's self was nice. The other children there did not want to share anything and the older kids were climbing over over the half walls and on top of the slide. The parents of these children we're not paying attention nor we're the staff. I will not be taking my child there again.

Judy Elmore

Monday, Sep. 4, 2017

A great place to have in the downtown area. Lots of activities for kids. A fabulous outdoor space with Dino dig, bubbles, and butterfly garden. A water table, a Lego area, and an indoor slide are just a few of the indoor features. This place is perfect for any day but especially for hot summer days and cold winter days when you need a place to take the kids to burn off energy. A membership for a year is the best value but if only going for a day it is only $5 per person.

Elisha Roy

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017

Great place to take young children! I took my 2 year old grandson and he had a great time!

Michelle Cleary

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018

Nice place. Great for birthday parties.

Mel Jane

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

Wonderful afternoon activity with grands! Love the outdoor activities!