science center, IMAX theatre, special events, networking events, on-site shopping, on-site restaurant and catering
Every Sunday we try to go somewhere as a family, Sunday Funday! I saw a Groupon for the Connecticut Science Center and knew my kids would love it. I have a 7 years old son and a 5 year old daughter. There was something there for everyone, including the adults.
The first floor of the museum includes a 3D Movie Theater, which was showing 2 different movies that day. We chose the one about robots. The movie was included in our Groupon, otherwise we would not have wasted the time going. We ended up leaving before it was over so we could get back to having fun in the museum. Additionally on the first floor is a water play area for kids 7 and under. We ran out of time and were not able to enjoy this section. There is also a Subway if you get hungry.
The next level includes Forces In Motion and the Sight and Sound Experience. We missed this whole level due to lack of time.
The next level has an area for exploring space. There is a real space suit and a moon rock. They have simulators that the kids (and adults) can get into and try to land a spaceship or lay down and see what it looks like being in space. This level also includes the Invention Dimension Exhibit. This is where the kids can become creative and build with legos. They can also race marbles through domino tracks or try to beat a robot at putting together a puzzle. This was one of our favorite areas. The other side of this floor is about sports and health and how what you eat can help you or harm you. I could not drag the kids away from the hands on activities in this exhibit.
The top level of the museum has an exhibit about CT Rivers and Maritime Animals. They have a turtle you can touch and snakes and spiders in tanks. There is also a Planet Earth exhibit where you can dig for fossils, see a dinosaur (who comes to life every few minutes) and a hurricane machine where you can feel what hurricane winds feel like. The final exhibit on this level is Energy City. Here you can see how much energy you need to make things work. It shows us how much energy we use and how we can reduce our energy consumption.
The price of admission to this museum is pretty high, which is why we have never visited previously. However, after visiting once and running out of time to see everything, we will definitely be back. The only thing I would skip next time is the 3D movie. Be sure to get there early and play all day!
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.