Another unexpected refuge for my kids was right across from the Hands On! Museum -- a small shop called Atlantis, whose window display always piqued my children's curiosity.
They begged to go in one day after playing at the museum, and discovered a bookcase filled with buckets of minerals and stones. It was heaven for them. They came back time and again with their allowance money, adding the next exciting mineral to their collection -- pyrite, rose quartz, hematite, and more! These beautiful treasures led to library trips and purchasing books and a whole world of exploration, thanks to one tiny place in downtown Johnson City.