science center, IMAX theatre, special events, networking events, on-site shopping, on-site restaurant and catering
Whenever we have a day off from school or while on summer break, my kids often request that we head on over to Hartford, CT to visit their fantastic hands-on science center. On the first floor, they have an awesome water play area where kids can experiment with the force of water on small plastic balls, shapng the water with cups and spatulas as it flows, and of course scooping water to move it from place to place. Now while this exhibit is meant for younger kids, even my older kids love hanging out there, playing with their younger siblings or other visitors.
On upper floors, there are exhibits on robots (a definite favorite), the human body, and a great one on how music works. My kids love the sports lab where you can learn how the technology advances in sports equipment can literally change the game. There is a great exhibit on forces in motion, where kids can study things like updraft, and a fantastic space exhibit too.
No matter how many times we return, the kids always learn something new and find something fascinating that they didn't see before. Truly, this is the best science center that we have visited in the Northeast!
I have been to the science center twice-the first time I visited was for an educator open house. I was very pleased that there was so much that was geared toward upper elementary students because I think so many museums for kids are geared toward very young children. I went back over Xmas vacation with my 8 year old daughter and one of her classmates. They had a blast! First stop was the water room that well..we could have spent the entire day there. They loved making whirlpools and throwing balls into the big tank. I love that there was a water table with running water that you could build in with big duplo bricks to make dams and canals. Very cool. We went through all of the floors of the museum and I was surprised at how much the kids got into it because I thought that they might be too young for some of the exhibits but we ended up being there for four hours!! They had a blast! I am considering becoming a member because it is expensive and I figure if I went more than twice a year that the membership would pay for itself. It was a great way to spend a cold Connecticut day!
The Connecticut Science Center just opened in our state and is phenomenal. You can spend an entire day there and the children have tons to do. The only down side is that it is very expensive to get in and discounts are not being offered yet through the libraries.
As we're discussing a locally esteemed science center, let's run this down bullet-point style:
* First Visit: (adults in group; age range from 23-36)
* Purpose of Visit: Social networking, happy hour, gettin' our groove on. Otherwise known as Liquid Lounge at the center. For me, it was a great way to check out the museum without paying the astronomical admission price (can anybody in the audience say : GLOBAL RECESSION? Okay. Moving on.),
* Result: "Wow, there are a LOT of old people here" (says the 23 year old).
" ... did that lady just trip over the wine bar? Oh my God, I recognize her from the PTO! Hide me!" (says Wishes to be Anonymous 34 year old)
"This wall thing is really cool but we gotta jet in 30 if we don't want to end up paying another $5.00 for parking". (says male, 30)
* Summary of the evening: Admission was low-ish at $10 per person. The center has extended the welcome mat further by offering group discounts. The catch is that you have to purchase your tickets at the same time to receive the discount. Parking on the street in this area of Hartford is not recommended. Luckily (?) the center boasts its own parking garage, which the center does not validate your ticket for (shock!). After spending 2 hours at the center, I paid $9.00 for parking. Drinks, including water, were $2 to $5 each, and you don't get much for the money. Appetizers were high priced and gnome-food sized. I, being a cheap bastar ... I mean FRUGAL ... decided against them.
* Second visit: Adult: 30, children - many, many 4th grade students (age 8-9) plus one very excited 4 year old
* Purpose of visit: Discovering the science center
* Summary: Admission for one adult is $17.00, $14.00 for children ages 3-17. I'll let you do the math on my family size: Two adults and four children. Don't forget the parking! :)
*** note: if you want to shell out a couple extra bucks, you'll get inside the ONLY attraction worth viewing, the IMAX theater.
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
This is why: the center is not at all stroller friendly. For those parents out there who are fond of their baby pushers - too bad! The center frowns upon your parental judgment and "kindly suggests" you "snuggle up!" with baby ... who is now trying to eat the plastic dummy in the Locate The Ailment display.
If you want something to eat, there is an on-site cafe. The center has marketed this quite well to "locavores" ::eyeroll:: and you should expect to share in the marketing genius costs while baby toddles away during the second course.