As a parent, you have probably struggled to balance two important things: Making sure your kids are having fun, and making sure that they are learning something. With a day trip to the Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, there’s no need to fret: Your kids can experience hands-on learning in a fun and unique way!
The Museum Exhibits
All exhibits throughout the museum are designed to encourage a hands-on experience that will challenge children (and maybe even adults). Guests are invited to explore 11 unique exhibits that spark interest in the sciences. Take a photo in the full-size replica of the Apollo 11 Spacesuit, touch a 50,000-year-old meteorite, and express your imagination with an oversize Lite-Brite!
Other exhibits include Energy Network, Adventure Science, Science on a Sphere, Nano, Get Physical!, and Preschool Power, each of which examines a different scientific theme. You can read more about the specifics of these exhibits and special rotating exhibits on the museum’s website.
If you or your child has ever dreamed about being an astronaut, you will surely enjoy the Planetarium dome. These space exhibits are located on the lower level of the museum. The dome is darkened to simulate a stunningly realistic starry night sky surrounding you up close and personal. The shows that offer this experience are suitable for all ages and last about 30 minutes. Daily planetarium shows envelop viewers’ senses and create a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.
The Henry B. duPont III Planetarium has a rich history behind it. The Planetarium was first more than 50 years ago in 1962, still a few years before an astronaut had stepped out onto the moon! At the time it was one of only twelve planetariums in the nation. It was given its name in 1976 after the name of a board member that had been part of the experience for years and the chair of the planetarium committee.
Since it’s opening the planetarium has had a few upgrades to keep up with changing technologies including digital projection, new lighting, new sound systems, and new seating to enhance the experience and keep all ages interested.
Plan Your Visit
The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is located at 4450 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. The museum is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00am-5:00pm, excluding certain holidays, and Planetarium shows take place at various times throughout the week. Plan ahead and visit the Discovery Museum website to see when the shows you’re most interested in take place.
Admission varies by age: Children under the age of 2 are free; ages 2-17, students with school an ID, and senior citizens are $9; and adults are $11. Special discounts are offered to those with a valid AAA or AARP card, military and veterans, and special needs chaperones. Group pricing is available for birthday parties or other events for 10 people or more.