Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, also known as CDM, is a cultural institution that caters to children, their families, and schools in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area. It is located in downtown San Jose, California on Woz Way, a street named after Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and the museum’s largest private donor during the initial capital campaign.


The museum opened its doors in 1990, and since then, over 9 million visitors have experienced its interactive exhibits and programs. The purple building, designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta, spans 52,000-square-feet and houses 28,000-square-feet of gallery space. In 2017, a half-acre outdoor nature play space was added to the museum’s offerings.

CDM is renowned for its interactive exhibits that foster early childhood education. Its exhibits, programs, and initiatives have garnered local, regional, and national recognition. The museum offers a range of exhibits, including replicas of two life-size Columbian mammoths, authentic vehicles for exploration, and five visual and performing arts spaces.

CDM’s Cultural Celebrations series is a highlight, showcasing the diverse cultures and traditions of the region’s population. The museum has been ranked by¬†Child¬†magazine as one of the top 10 children’s museums in the United States and by the¬†London Observer¬†as one of the top 5 science centers in the world.

Exhibits and Programs

CDM boasts an assortment of exhibits and programs for children aged 10 and under. These exhibits encourage hands-on, experience-based learning. Some notable exhibits include:

  • Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature: A half-acre outdoor nature exploration space
  • Mammoth Discovery!: An exhibit about paleontology, geology, and the scientific method
  • Waterways: An interactive water play and physics observation area

Moreover, the museum hosts a Cultural Celebrations series, performances by local arts organizations, and events promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity.

Discovery Youth

Discovery Youth is a unique program where youth from grades 5 to 12 can learn and assist in the museum. They engage in various computer projects using software like Photoshop, Premiere Elements, Flash Creator, donated by Adobe. They also organize arts and crafts activities for museum visitors.


BioSITE, initiated by the museum in 1993, is an “action-science” education program. It engages 1,500 students annually, emphasizing environmental responsibility and fostering love for science through authentic field research in the Guadalupe Watershed.

Awards and Honors

CDM has been recognized for its remarkable contributions to child education and community service. It has received numerous awards and accolades, reflecting its commitment to providing an engaging, enriching, and accessible learning environment for children and families.

Visit the Museum

Plan your visit to the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and experience the joy of interactive learning. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday, with one play session from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are two play sessions: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission to the museum is $18 for adults and children over 1, and $16 for seniors over 60. Members and infants can enter for free.

The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is located at 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA¬†in downtown San Jose.


The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is more than just a museum. It’s a vibrant community hub where children and families can engage in hands-on learning, explore diverse cultures, and ignite their curiosity about the world around them. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the area, the museum promises a day filled with discovery, creativity, and fun.

For more information about the museum, its exhibits, programs, and events, visit their official website.

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