Brookings Exploration Center
We're Taking Your Family-Favorite into the Future

Nestled between the Climatron® and the Shoenberg Temperate House, and adjacent to the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden, the Brookings Interpretive Center was originally constructed during the renovation of the Climatron in 1990 to house educational tropical rainforest displays. By the mid-2000s the exhibits were significantly outdated. All of the exhibits were removed to provide space for functions related to the 2006 Chihuly exhibit, followed by the 2007 Chapungu exhibit.

Girl playing with pretend produceBlossoming
Since 2008, the Brookings Center has hosted innovative, interactive staffed exhibits:

  • Exploring Trees Inside and Out
  • EarthWays: Living the Green Life
  • DinoQuest: A Tropical Trek Through Time
  • TREEmendous
  • Plants and People: China
  • Foodology
  • Nature in Your Neighborhood

During this time, over 500,000 visitors have explored, learned, relaxed, played, read and discovered something new here.

Artists rendering of PlantLab
Artist's rendering of PlantLab

Growing Forward
After more than 20 years, the center’s infrastructure and facilities needed to be enhanced and improved. On April 2, 2016 the new Brookings Exploration Center opened to the public. The new space houses state-of-the-art exhibit space and a brand-new PlantLab. A new vestibule area, designed to make your experiences more comfortable and accessible, features barrier-free restrooms, a family restroom, vending machines and a Calming Corner that serves as a place for families with children needing quite time and a comfortable room for nursing mothers.

The expansion project is one of the major capital initiatives of the Garden for the World campaign.

Rendering of exhibit area
Artist's rendering of exhibit area


Be a Part of It!

As we embark on an extensive renovation of the Brookings Exploration Center, we invite you to share your ideas and suggestions for the new space!

Thinking about your last visit to the Brookings Interpretive Center...

Help the Brookings Interpretive Center Grow!

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A special thank you for your support of the Brookings Interpretive Center renovations:

Edward Jones, Mr. and Mrs. William A. Gilbert, Dr. Ann J. Johanson, John and Anita O’Connell, Nora Stern and the Driver and Gleason Families, the Garden’s Members’ Board and alumni, and the Garden’s Young Friends Council and alumni.