During the busy summer season we offer fun family activities on various topics. What visitors have enjoyed in the past included:
Assembling space shuttle replicas, Building & launching rockets, Lessons on Solar Energy, Putting together a Rainbow Maker, Making a real Comet
Since our latest trip to the Brunswick Islands was mid-week in the off-season, The Ingram Planetarium was not open for regular hours. The museum director was kind enough, though, to open the planetarium for a tour for the purposes of this review.
The Paul Dennis Science Hall was filled with hands-on activities for children of all ages. Even my husband was impressed. There was a hurricane simulator which was very cool. The modern day “Pipes of Pan” illustrated the concept of sound waves. This idea of sound as energy made for an interesting discussion with my son. An orrery, or model of the Earth orbiting the sun, and the moon’s position during that rotation helped my children visualize what can be a complicated spatial issue.
The SkiDome Sky Theater has shows on a variety of topics daily throughout the summer months and on Fridays and Saturdays in the off season. We were not able to watch a movie, but the theater was spacious and comfortable. Go to the website for previews of movies that are playing at any given time.
I love science and I believe kids can learn as much on a well-planned family trip as in the classroom. In fact, even parents can learn something new on a well-planned trip if they are open to it. The Ingram Planetarium is truly an interactive an educational museum for children. I highly recommend it for families vacationing in the Brunswick Islands.
Disclaimer: Our latest trip to the Brunswick Islands included a complimentary stay at the Sea Trail Plantation and Golf Resort on Sunset Beach and passes to several activities on the islands courtesy of the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority, but the opinions expressed herein are my own.
The Ingram Planetarium located in Sunset Beach, North Carolina is a fun and educational place for you and your family to visit. It contains a science hall that is free to visit and then several shows that you can watch inside the planetarium. They also have very friendly staff that are willing and ready to answer all of your questions.
The Paul Dennis Science Hall was small but perfect for the price (free), and rich in educational, hands on exhibits. My boys, ages 8 and 5, loved it and did not want to leave. It also contained a hurricane simulator that allows you to experience Category 1 hurricane force winds for about $2. Another neat exhibit in the science hall was the Augmented Reality Exhibit. It made the images in the book that was on display literally jump off the page. You have to see it and then if you choose to buy it you can from the gift shop in the planetarium.
There are several sky shows to choose from at the planetarium. You can get a glimpse of them online from their website. We watched the Astronaut Show and it was great! My boys were able to follow everything and at times it really felt like we were in space with the astronauts. During the evening, after we watched the show, my boys wanted to look for the milky way and the various constellations we had learned about during the show. Yep, I loved that! Different shows are shown at different times in the planetarium so make sure you check their website for times.
We had a great time at the Ingram Planetarium. It had a very inviting and relaxed atmosphere that allowed us to really enjoy ourselves. Again, my boys loved it and if we had time we would have visited twice during our stay in North Carolina's Brunswick Islands.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to the Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The Museum did not require that I express a particular point of view.
Ingram Planetarium opened in summer 2002 as part of a collaboration with the nearby Museum of Coastal Carolina. It shows traditional planetarium programs on a 40-foot dome in its ninety-seat theater. The center also includes a few space-related exhibits, brainteasers, puzzles, and other hands-on activities.