601 Erieside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 – Get Directions
Fun, Hands-On Science -- A Classic Science Museum
Did you visit a science museum on a school field trip as a child or teen? Do you remember all the hands-on fun you had playing with all sort os simple machines and learning about physics? The Great Lakes Science Center has an entire floor of all those traditional, hands-on science demonstrations for families to play with. Surprisingly, nearly every single exhibit is in great working order so that kids can play for hours learning the basics of sound, light, mechanics, electricity and more. This science center isn't flashy and modern, but it does engage the kids.
There is also an entire floor of the museum featuring space. On this floor, families will find historic exhibits as well as interactive activities to education children about past, present and future flight in space.
Another highlight of the science center are the regular science demonstrations. During our visit, the team of educations put on quite a show (and explosion) with dry ice. The explosion send balls flying high into the air.
During our visit the temporary exhibit featured slide and play area made out of duck tape. It was lots of fun! There were also several exhibits explaining the science and engineering behind the tape.
Bottom Line: Don't expect anything modern or flashy. This is a class science museum with hands-on physical science demonstrations. Still all is in working order and kids are bound to have hours of educational fun when they visit.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary tickets while on media visit. All opinions are my own.
So Much Fun You'll Have to Tear your Kids Away!
Great Lakes Science Center is a great spot to take kids when you're in the Cleveland area. The Center is filled with hands-on learning and play, and it's very easy to spend and entire day chasing after them as they run from exhibit to exhibit.
Great Lakes Science Center is located on Erieside Avenue and it's directly beside Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The science center is on the shore of Lake Erie, so not only is it a great place for kids to learn about science but the view of the lake is gorgeous. The Kid and I walked around the edge of the lake for a few minutes before we visited the museum and simply enjoyed the view.
My daughter and I visited Great Lakes Science Center on a summer weekday morning, and it was pretty busy due to kid's camps and parents visiting with their kids. It truly wasn't an issue, though, because the center is so big that' it's easy to get out of the way of other parents and kids.
The first thing we did was grab a map. We wanted to check out all of the hot spots in the center, so we perused it and are really happy we did. My tween daughter found a few must-visit areas, so we made sure to visit those first.
Science Phenomena was, by far, her favorite exhibit and the area where we spent the bulk of our time. An entire floor is dedicated to answering the question that kids love to ask most: How does it work? There's an area all about bubbles and light refraction and a section on sound. My daughter loved playing with the huge bubble wands and making a sheet of bubbles. She also had a blast listening through one end of a giant, coiled tube while we talked back and forth across the room. Science Phenomena has well over 100 activities and she was happy to walk from display to display learning through hand-on fun.
Another fun area to explore is the NASA Glenn Visitor Center. Yep, there's a ton of interactive exhibits her as well, and my tween is really fascinated by space exploration right now, so it was fitting that she loved it. She tried dressing up as an astronaut (makes a great photo op!), and a climbing area that teaches kids about solving problems in space.
There are so many other awesome areas to visit, but we simply ran out of time. On our next visit, we'll definitely allow for most of a day to take it all in. The William G. Mather steamboat is docked outside of the center and, with paid admission, you and yours can explore the giant ship.
ADMISSION AND PARKING
For a full day's worth of science fun, general admission is as follows:
Adults are $14
Children ages 2-12 are $12
There are extras that can be added on like their Omnimax movies, and if your choose to bundle extras together you'll save some dough.
Parking options are wither on-street or the attached parking garage. Undoubtedly, on-street parking will be much more cost-effective, but running out every 2 hours to feed the meter may be an issue for families with smaller kids and tearing your kids away from an exhibit to add quarters to a meter may not go over so well with them.
We stayed at a downtown Cleveland hotel when we visited and simply waked to the Great Lakes Science Center. On beautiful days, a nice stroll downtown is a fun option.
And the Verdict is...?
So. Much. Fun. Seriously, we had a blast visiting Great Lakes Science Center and I loved watching the kid's eyes light up when she learned something new. I must admit, I did, too. There is no age limit on science fun and tiny tots to teens will enjoy their visit.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Positively Cleveland and Great Lakes Science Center for the purpose of this review. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and, as always, my opinions are my own!
I've been to the GLSC numerous times growing up and had a great visit each time. They have tons of hands on exhibits and fun for all ages. My sisters and I always enjoyed the static electricity exhibit. You put your hands on these metal balls and your hair sticks up. I can't wait to take my daughter when she is a little older. The only thing I haven't enjoyed in the past is that its expensive to get in and parking can be a pain.