One of our fun family outings this summer was our first trip to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford.
I wasn’t sure if it would be entertaining for my children, but my 3-year-old and 8-year-old enjoyed the trip and have both asked if we could go back soon.
Starting on the first floor, the water table activities draw the kids’ interest, they can watch how water can be redirected with Legos, or different shaped paddles. They can also watch balls be carried through tubes around the room.
Each floor has two galleries, with different interactive exhibits throughout.
Forces in Motion was a favorite among the kids as well, they can make cars to race, shoot balls with a computer or with air cannons, learn about magnets and more.
Another display area highlights the Connecticut River, what types of animals live in and around it, the history of the river and a scenic overlook with a nice view of the river. My daughter got to touch a snake, and I learned about different historic floods and droughts in the Hartford area.
The floor about space exploration was my favorite, with different interactive questions about planets, the moon and sky. There was an interesting video where you could choose to explore a black hole, learn more about Mars or the moon.
Sitting in a large, reclining chair in a darkened room, the video really drew you in with awesome shots of space. There are 10 different galleries in all, others focused on health, sports, and alternative energy sources.
There also is a 200-seat 3D digital theater, we didn’t go that day, but you can get a package that includes the movie for an additional charge. The “National Geographic Presents Meerkats 3D” is playing now, the movie follows a clan of Meerkats through their adventures in the Kalahari Desert. It is recommended for ages 6 and older.
Discount coupons are available at local libraries and there is a combination ticket for Mystic Aquarium and science center available. Regular admission: Adults, $19, Youth ages 4-17, $14, Seniors, $16.50, age 3 and younger and members are free. There is an additional charge for the different 3D movies, you can get a combination ticket, or for member the movie tickets are $5. Membership is $75 for individuals, $105 for two. See full membership details at the Science Center website, www.CTScienceCenter.org
There is an additional fee for parking, which is available in the adjacent garage or in parking lots around the city.
The Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education throughout the state of Connecticut and New England, providing learning opportunities for students and adults of all ages, and engaging the community in scientific exploration. More information: 860.SCIENCE or online at www.CTScienceCenter.org. The center is at 250 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford.