March 19, 2012

Discovery Science Museuem

a little bit closer up on the dinosaur insides
We have driven past the Discovery Science Center's precariously balanced cube a hundred times since we moved here two months ago, and have had it on our list to go see. We finally took advantage of our rainy St. Patrick's Day to check it out.

The short of it is that it is a cool place, but very crowded (guess we weren't the only ones with the rainy day idea), and a little too old for our 19-month old. There were lots of interactive science-y experiments like a wave tank, and learning about how planes fly or how ice skates work (there was pretty big section devoted to each airflow and the Duck's hockey team). Additionally, there was a large supermarket area, where you can use a shopping cart to virtually shop, answering some questions about environmentally friendly foods. When we came in, there was a 'scientist' putting on a little show of science experiments to teach about recycling. I thought that was neat, but again not for our little guy.

using his wand to open a clue
There were some areas that were age appropriate: Dora's play space near the entrance, and the Dino Adventure were both a pretty big hit. You might notice the dinosaur from the freeway as you pass. You can actually walk around in that one, and thoroughly explore his insides (digestion and all!). The entire dino area is outside. You check in at the archaeologist's station and receive a stick or wand. Depending on your age, they will suggest a program to follow, and you can program your wand accordingly. For M, we didn't need to program anything, and the wand was able to open all 'clues' just for fun. The first time we opened something - and it started talking to him - he was actually sort of scared (understandable). He preferred to bang on things, or use it as a walking stick. At his age, he enjoyed seeing all the different dinosaurs and climbing up and down the different sets of stairs.
the purple slide!

The indoor Dora area was fun, too. There was a car to drive and some sort of game to play where you put brown plastic balls (supposed to be acorns) into different 'machines' for some purpose I didn't figure out. There was a wall where you could plug in stars into different constellations and watch them light up. And there was a slide. A simple purple slide where M took turns with a few other kids his age going up the stairs and down the slide and running around the side to do it again. We visited this stop at least 5 times.

The Science Center offers a reasonably priced annual membership, but given that it was SO crowded, and M is just not really the right age, we probably won't be back for a while. We did have fun, and were glad we finally got to visit.

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not really interested in Dora's maze
I did actually find this supermarket a letdown, since from the front entrance it looks really cool, but you can't pick anything up. You can only scan it with your gun to answer questions on your digital shopping cart. :( Note the zen salesperson on the TV screen at the left. She gives you a short lesson and then you can grab a cart and start 'shopping'

picking flowers in Dora's garden

genius - put a steering wheel in both the front AND the back of the car to maximize toddler enjoyment!

inside the dinosaur!

sliding down the Dino's tail!

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