My family “lives” in Rehoboth for almost 5 weeks total every summer thanks to a family home. Finding things to do aside from the beach and boardwalk gets tricky! Finding things that are affordable and air conditioned, even MORE tricky. But thanks to Cari Miller, the Founder and President of The Great STEMporium, and her husband, the Delaware Shores has just gained an amazing additional form of entertainment!!!!
The Great STEMporium opened early in July 2019. Many businesses seem to open but still be “getting themselves together” for a while, this is NOT how the Miller’s did things and we were SUPER impressed! The lobby is also a quaint gift shop for fantastic STEM presents and souvenirs at very fair prices. The host who greeted us was very comfortable with children and was eager to show my quad-squad some of the toys. She also walked us through some of the options to choose from our “menu” while we checked them out in the glass display case.
The Great STEMporium is housed in a strip of stores off of Rt 1 in Lewes, SUPER easy to get to from the Delaware beaches and even the Ferry. They host birthday parties and scout troops as well as families and friends! It is set up as a restaurant and looks so much like one that I asked what restaurant used to be there. I was told it was an old, dated and grimy bait and tackle shop! I would NEVER have guessed this! The decorator they hired was incredible at turning their large location into exactly what their vision was…. a non-food serving RESTAURANT set up where you order STEM activities to do at your table! Your “wait staff” rolls up a cart to deliver your choices in a non-rushed succession and stays to explain or help, as needed.
We skipped doing an Appetizer and ordered an hour of Play Time(d). For my four children, we did 2 items at a time, which was $15.95 each hour/each item. VERY reasonable for what we got to do! Our “server” delivered the items in the order the children asked and as soon as they were finished we could raise our flag (why don’t all restaurants do this????) and she’d return to trade us our next item. We never waited, lost time, or felt rushed. It was PERFECT. My quad squad voted that their 2 favorite items were the Lie Detector and LCD Microscope. Next we did a Make ‘n Take. I was SUPER impressed with the options for this and it was hard to choose just what we wanted to do! They loved the Wooden Fidget options and for $10 they got to make 4 of them… this would have been awesome to split among my crew! But instead we elected to do the Owl Pellet Dissection as this was SO unique. My crew loves nature and animals and enjoys learning about it, so dissecting an owl pellet to find skeletal items that an owl recently ate was an amazing experience and they were SO into it! Two of my girls even took the gloves off to get a closer feel saying “it’s ok, Mom, we can wash up in the sink”. I couldn’t argue with that kind of rationale! Each pellet was worked on by two kids and together they broke it apart to find shrew skulls, femurs, jaws, and lots of rib bones. The placemat it came with had all of the images they needed to deduce what they had found.
Finally, for their grand finale, I let them make slime. For $4.50 they chose what color/type they wanted. They got to take it home, and I got to leave all of the mess at The Great STEMporium!! Win-win! The slime they use is Steve Spangler brand. They even made it more sensory loaded by adding in some glitter and sequins and beads. My son made String Slime, a first for us, and that was really cool to create and he loves how it feels.
While waiting for our orders (which isn’t much of a wait), there was a basket of fidget toys on the table. We were all highly entertained by these items! Children younger than 5 can order a Busy Basket of even more toys to play with that is safe for them.
The next time we visit we plan to also purchase some of their Scavenger Hunts to use at the Beach as well as to do the Paper Bag STEM options. Their current promotion is you can get ONE FREE DESSERT when you purchase an hour of Play Time(d). My quad squad, and this mama, give The Great STEMporium two HUGE thumbs up, 5 stars, a major shout out, and a round of applause. This place is AWESOME!
If you are a Girl Scout or know someone who is, the cost of their activities to earn some of the new badges is SUPER reasonable! Activities start at $5 per child and go up to $15. Also, Girl Scouts get 20% off Play Time(d) menu options. My daughter was a Girl Scout and I know she would have been in heaven experiencing an activity like this with her troop!
For local schools, the Field Trip Planner allows for up to 75 participants (including chaperones) and can cater to children ages 5 and up. The Program is approximately 2 and a half hours long and is so well structured that a chaperone can actually just enjoy The Great STEMporium with their students while the staff helps lead them through the structured Timeline of activities.
18388 Coastal Highway #10, Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 313-5139 (call or text)
- NO CASH! They accept credit/debit cards only
- They only take reservations for groups of 7+, but call first to see if there’s a wait. There wasn’t when we attended on a Tuesday afternoon.
- Your entire party must be present to be seated
- They are located next to Go Brit! directly across from Bethany Blues on Route 1.
- Check out the two bathrooms, they have fantastic humor in them! One is a “beans” theme, excellent potty humor there, and the other is a Periodic Table of Elements theme with a “scrabble-like” ceiling that will make you chuckle.
- Bring a water bottle for yourself, or buy a beverage there, and plan to stay and hang out. My 2 hour experience cost about $50…. and that’s for 4 children to learn, play, laugh, discover, experiment, work as a team, and do something new and unique- INCREDIBLY GOOD VALUE! Disclaimer: After walking into the lobby and being so impressed, I was talking to the owner who asked if I was a teacher (based on how I was talking to my students about the activities they could choose). I laughed, because I was, a decade ago, but told him I’m not a mommy-blogger on the side. And after experiencing the location, I asked if I could write a review for them on our Philly Burb Mom pages. The couple was delighted! I received no monetary compensation for this post and all opinions are my own (and my quad squads).