219 S. Industrial Road
(662) 377-KIDS (5437)
1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8:30am-4 pm • Sat: 10am-2pm
Admission: Tickets are $5 for children ages 2 to 92 and free for children under 2.
If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the brain of a teenager, or explore the coarser side of human biology, then you’re ready to be exposed to the full-bodied fun of HealthWorks! North Mississippi, the new children’s health-education center in Tupelo.
It’s a heady experience from the outset, when you’re welcomed to the $5.3 million building by the Brain Theater, featuring a 12-minute video that probes “inside the brain of a 13-year-old girl.” The theater is part of the Funtastic exhibit floor teeming with interactive displays that spread a contagion of learning through hands-on zaniness.
Guaranteed to infect the curiosity of kids of all ages is the Let’s Play Grossology exhibit, which tests a player’s familiarity with bodily functions. To test one’s physical fitness, there’s Pulse Racers, a virtual bike ride. The Choices game and Decisions Diner, among others, are concocted to help kids understand the future health risks that come from tobacco use, drug abuse, obesity and other avoidable behaviors. A total of 18 curriculum-based attractions for school children in kindergarten through eighth grade inspire a life-time of healthful habits.
Launched by the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi, Tupelo’s version is based on the original HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum in South Bend, Indiana, and is only the second center of its kind in the United States. HealthWorks! is a prime site for school field trips, and its spacious rooms offer venues for family outings and birthday parties.