The Orlando Science Center

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

I am sure most of us have taken our children to the Science Museum in London, or the Natural History Museum next door, but have you ever considered taking your offspring to a museum in Orlando?

Well, if you have time to fit it in, or if you have a rainy day and don’t know what to do, then you might consider visiting the Orlando Science Center in Orlando city? If you haven’t visited it already then you could be in for a treat, as the Orlando Science Center is said to be one of America’s best ‘hands-on’ science centers, where learning about science can be fun. Its mission statement is ‘inspire science learning for life. ’

There are hundreds of different exhibits, with a changing programme of interesting exhibitions.

The Science Center has giant screen films and planetarium shows as well as labs, and it offers great educational opportunities for children. It opened in 1960, and a new facility followed in 1997, offering four floors of exhibition space, as well as a giant screen 300 seat domed theatre, an observatory, a 250 seat Adventure Theatre for live performances and demonstrations, a shop and a cafe. As well as this there is the Crosby Observatory, which is home to Florida’s largest publicly-accessible refractor telescope. In order to provide an immersive experience for visitors, the staff at the Science Center worked with theme park designers and fabricators.

The Science Center provides an ever changing array of fascinating exhibitions. For example, a recent exhibition, ' The Fury of the Tornado, ' helps understand how this most destructive of storms happens. A new giant screen film called ‘Forces of Nature’ shows glimpses of the worlds most deadly and damaging storms, devastating earthquakes, and unpredictably unstable volcanoes.

In October, 2010, children can visit a new touring exhibit entitled ‘Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure. ‘ Children (and adults! ) can join Charlie as he travels back in time to an age when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Charlie discovers the connections between dinosaurs and birds, and his curiosity helps him understand how evolution works.

A new and permanent exhibition is called ‘Our Planet, Our Universe, ’ and this combines astronomy and earth science with interactive exhibits. It includes subjects such as black holes, images of the planets taken by NASA, why the sky is blue, and gravity.

The Science Center is a non-profit making organisation, and of course, it cannot be compared to our own Science Museum in London – it is a much smaller facility, but it could be a great place to take the children.

Admission is $17, with children aged 3-11 just $12. The museum is closed on Wednesdays, but open from 10. 00 am to 5. 00 pm Thursday to Tuesday. It is also closed on four other days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving Day.

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