The biggest purple playhouse in San Jose is marking a new milestone this Saturday as the Children’s Discovery Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary with free admission and special activities.

Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter PapaHugs will perform at the museum’s expanded garden and a giant cardboard birthday cake will be at the museum’s cafeteria for children and families to decorate. There will also be a bubble station and a variety of arts-and-crafts activities.

Guests can dance and sing along birthday songs and enjoy blasting confetti at noon, 1pm and 2pm on Saturday.

Scott Knies, executive director of San Jose Downtown Association, says the museum has been a key regional attraction in the downtown landscape for 25 years. Serving the youth community in the San Jose and regional visitors since 1990, the museum has welcomed more than 7 million visitors, with more than 325,000 people visiting every year.

“The excitement and passion felt on opening day is even greater 25 years later,” says Executive Director Marilee Jennings. “In addition to more than 150 interactive exhibits, we now offer an array of unique educational programs serving a broader audience, from toddlers to teens.”

Regular exhibits at the museum allow youngsters to prepare a healthy imaginary meal at Rainbow Market, create a water fountain at WaterWays or make pixel arts with colorful cubes, among other activities.

Off site, the museum organizes school related activities for teens. Students learn to examine water quality using a scientific method with the BioSITE program or engage in digital media production using computer technology with Discovery Youth.

Chris Carter, a Hollister resident visiting the museum on a recent afternoon, takes her grandchildren to the museum whenever she babysits. One of the reasons, she said, is that they never get bored and especially like the water area. Carter said the museum has more fun and interactive activities for kids than other attractions.

Children’s Discovery Museum was picked Best History/Specialty museum by Metro Readers and won Third Place in the Best of Silicon Valley Reader Survey in 2009. Parents Magazine selected the museum as one of the top 10 children’s museums in United States in 2000.

More info on the 25th Anniversary.