Having grown up in Decatur, I still remember the catchy jingle, “Looky looky looky, here comes cooky, Cooks Pest Control.” It’s rare to find a Decatur native born in the 80s or earlier, who doesn’t recall the memorable jingle. Cooks Pest Control, the Decatur-based pest control company with humble beginnings, now boasts as America’s eighth largest pest control company, and has a state of the art interactive museum of natural science, that was recently voted #1 in USA Today’s Best New Museum contest.
Located in downtown Decatur, the museum features a 15,000 gallon salt-water aquarium, an immersive cave experience, hands-on interactive activities, and several live animals, including: baby alligators, turtles, snakes, jellyfish, and more. A one-day admission ticket will run you $20 for adult, $15 per child ages 3-14, children under three are free; senior and military admission prices are $17.
What resonated with me most was the subtle signs place through the museum instructing little hands ‘please touch’.
We recently visited the museum on a beautiful sunny weekday. Parking was easy, museum entrance was breeze, and the museum definitely offers and incredible interactive experience for children of all ages. While there were several stand-out exhibits like the Forests Exhibit, which allows you to climb through the trunk of a big tree, what resonated with me most, was the subtle signs placed throughout the museum instructing little hands ‘please touch’. I was both excited and put at ease to see these signs. One can tell that every inch of the Cook Museum of Natural Science, was created with little hands to wonder around with wonder and curiosity. The show-stopping exhibit amongst my children though, was then Foundations Exhibit, which features an interactive kinetic sand table that allows you to create an erupting volcano, snow-capped mountains, and flowing rivers. It was pure joy watching my 10 year-old, 8 year-old, and 6 year-old constructing mounds of sand to observe the changing weather and geographical responses to their creations.
We spent four hours wondering around the beautiful museum, stopping only for lunch. The museum smartly has an on-site cafe, Nature’s Table, which offers museum-goers an assortment of delicious fare to please even the pickiest of eaters.
If you have not yet visited the Cook Museum of Nature Science in Decatur, AL, I highly recommend adding it to your list of family fun things to do. Museum Details are below.
Monday: 9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm