The Miriam U. Hoover Discovery Center
Stepping from the dry heat, a welcome wave of cool air hits your face as the door closes on the piercing sunlight behind you. For a moment you have left behind the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert, and yet the elements of the desert still beckon! You must be in the NEW Discovery Center!
The Miriam U. Hoover Discovery Center is an indoor place where visitors, especially children, can discover how sun, wind, sand, and only a little water work together to make the Coachella Valley such an amazing desert. Highlights include:
- An 8-foot-tall giant ground sloth skeleton mounted in a recessed cavern.
- Replica bones and skulls of Pleistocene animals presented on a fossil wall, where visitors can feel and touch the remnants of life that once inhabited the Coachella Valley.
- A darkened room engulfed by the deep desert night sky, filled with phosphorescent constellations, sounds of a desert oasis at night, animal projections, and glow in the dark tracks.
- A sand-colored, carpeted “dune” where children can crawl, roll, and play.
- An “Aeolian Landscape” feature where sand is blown around inside an enclosed space to make sand dunes.
- A mural depicting the beauty of the Coachella Valley desert in a view that looks northwest from The Living Desert towards the San Gorgonio pass.
- A craft counter with rubbing plates, paper, and colored pencils.
- Interactive areas where visitors can tactilely discover the four elements that shape our desert – sun, wind, sand, and a little water.
- An old seismograph and accompanying computer display, providing a real-time look at earth tremors in the area.
The Discovery Center is an interactive exhibit space where visitors of all ages and language abilities can discover, understand, and learn about the Coachella Valley region. Entrance is included in park admission and is open during regular park hours.