Start your engines! The Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois has a brand new exhibit for all of the car lovers out there!

Hot Wheels: Race to Win is a traveling exhibit that is spending the next five months in Rockford! The Discovery Center is the only Midwest Children’s museum the exhibit will be at this year. It will travel to Jersey City, New Jersey for the summer and fall of 2021.

The Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit brings the fun of Hot Wheels to the science of speed! Families can experiment and play with Hot Wheels and a variety of tracks that showcase speed and performance. They can also find out how racing works behind the scenes with hands-on displays that include authentic racing gear and memorabilia.

This exhibit is recommended for kids 6-12 years old, but there are numerous areas within the exhibit that younger kids will enjoy as well. My three-year-old son was able to play in every area of the exhibit without a problem.

When does the Hot Wheels Race to Win Exhibit open?

The exhibit will be open to the public from January 24 – May 16, 2021. It is located in the large area that formerly held the Discovery Town exhibit (LINK).

The Discovery Center Museum is currently observing limited hours due to the pandemic. They are open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am – 11:30 am, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, and 3 pm – 5 pm. You need to reserve your time slot before going to the museum. You must reserve your time slot in advance here.

Please note, all kids 5 and up must wear masks in the museum at all times. Kids younger than 5 are encouraged to wear masks as well. Your temperature will be taken at the door before entering the museum. Please do not come to the museum if you are feeling unwell. 

How much does it cost to visit the Hot Wheels exhibit?

Admission to both the Discovery Center and the Hot Wheels exhibit is $11 per person. Children ages 1 and under are free. Discovery Center members can visit the exhibit for free.

What attractions are available at the Hot Wheels Exbibit?

The Hot Wheels exhibit is divided into four fun zones with different activities in each. Families are encouraged to stay together and observe a one family per station recommendation. 

The Blue Zone is focused on design. There is a large track that you can customize by turning levers and choosing which path your Hot Wheels car races on. Try to see if you can get your car to make the jump from one ramp to the other!

The Yellow Zone is all about power. Learn what makes a car go, how an engine works, and what different sounds each car makes. My kids enjoyed hearing the different revving engine sounds from a variety of race cars.

The Green Zone is for those who feel a need for speed! Race your Hot Wheels down a gigantic ramp to see which car will win. Try different cars to see if the shape or design makes a car slower or faster. There is plenty of room for 2-3 kids to race cars at the same time. 

The Red Zone is where you can slow down and learn about safety. Test your hand at racing Hot Wheels without crashing or make them crash for fun! My kids loved trying to get their Hot Wheels into the spinning hole.

Other fun areas to explore include the Pit Crew where you can try to beat the clock and get your car ready to race before time runs out, a simulated racing game, and a working engine display. Little kids will enjoy the small track where they can do imaginative play.

On your way out, don’t forget to stop by the Gift Shop where they have an exclusive Hot Wheels car that can only be bought at places where the exhibit travels.

Admission to the Hot Wheels exhibit includes admission to the entire children’s museum. It is currently running on limited capacity with masks required. For more information about what in the museum, read our article about the Discovery Center.

Check out this video of our experience at the Hot Wheels Race to Win exhibit.

Do you plan on visiting the Hot Wheels Race to Win exhibit while it’s in Rockford?

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