Doesn’t matter if you are young or old, The Connecticut Science Center can teach you a thing or two about the wondrous world of science. And with the winter months well underway, this indoor attraction is the perfect day activity for you and your family. So skip out on the icy temperatures and spend a few hours exploring the ins and outs of the science center.
Jam-packed with over 165 exhibits, a state of the art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, and daily programs and events, you and your littles ones will need a few hours to tour. As the center says, it “brings textbooks to life” and gives everyone the chance to embrace the science of physics, forensics, geology, astronomy, and everything in between. It’s no wonder that children leave the museum with a greater enthusiasm for science!
Here’s a list of the current available exhibits that you can bring your kids to see on your next trip to the center to learn through interaction.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Machines in Motion
Note: Exhibit ends on January 1, 2017
Considered the father of invention, innovation, and creativity, Da Vinci was much more than the painter of the Mona Lisa. In this exhibit, you can experience 40 of his “ahead-of-their-time” inventions brought to life in full-scale working models. Highlights include the armored car, an ornithopter (his flying machine), and Da Vinci’s robot.
This hands-on exhibit is perfect for visitors under 7 years old. The kids will have a chance to discover and play with an interactive, hands-on magnetic ball wall, an “I Spy” activity, and an experiment with water and Lego blocks!
Forces in Motion
This exhibit is ideal for those with a competitive edge. Race against each other to see who can keep motion-related designs flying longer, racing faster, or shooting straighter. Other activities include seeing how different wind directions affect a sailboat’s progress, designing a car and testing its speed, and using a robot to toss a ball sky-high.
Sight and Sound Experience
Pose and see yourself frozen from all angles at the Freeze Frame 360—need we say more?
Do you want to see a real moon rock? How about a NASA spacesuit? Not only can you get up close and personal with these two, you can also make a moon crater and lay back in a space pod. Now that is out of this world!
Calling all inventors! Be inspired to create the next big thing by learning about the great inventions that come from Connecticut. Or, try to create a new masterpiece at the Lego station. Or race to finish a puzzle against a robot.
Picture of Health
See the latest medical advances that help keep us healthy. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and race to treat a patient or play a high-stress game to see how your body reacts. At this exhibit, you can even move muscles and bones to see how they work together and learn how genetics affects your health.
Compete in hands-on challenges like a professional athlete and test your strength with state of the art sports equipment. The Sports Lab also features an area to build a perfect bike, use a ski simulator, and crash test helmets! The best part about this exhibit is the newest addition: “Cycling to Wellness.” This virtual cycling game enables children to test their bike designs on various landscapes and provides educational information on the health benefits of biking.
Discover the various alternative energy technologies in the newly-updated Energy City. Here, you can try to calculate your personal carbon footprint and map the paths of electricity through a model city.
Like a real archaeologist, you will be able to dig for fossils at this exhibit. See just how scientists measure the changes on our planet by recording your very own weather forecast and analyzing rocks.
River of Life
Explore New England’s largest river, the Connecticut River, and see just how vital it is to our history, economy, ecosystems, and future energy needs. Take a peek at schools of fish and other animals at the Marine Touch Tank.
Aside from all of these exhibits, the Connecticut Science Center also offers daily live science demonstrations where you and your children can get up close and personal with critters in the marine touch tank or learn about electricity with a Van de Graaff generator. The dozens of programs available will sure to keep you busy. While visiting, join the staff as they read science-themed stories to your kids—a great break for children 6 and under in between the other exhibits.
If you’re looking for an experience outside of the daylight hours, the Connecticut Science Center offers you and your family a chance to spend the night! This rare opportunity is an exclusive after-hours experience unlike anything else. This excursion will include an exploration of all of the exhibits, science challenges on each floor, a 3D film, light night snacks, and of course a special patch for completing the program. The cost for this real life “Night at the Museum” is $55 per person and takes place from 6pm-8am on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, April 22. Take a look at the website for further information on how to register.
Where: The Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd., Hartford
When: Regular hours are from 10am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. There are a number of scheduled closings each month, so check their online calendar before going. In January they are closed from January 2nd through the 15th, on the 23rd, and the 30th.
Cost: Tickets are $21.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors (65+), $14.95 for youth (between 3 and 17) and free for children under 3.