The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH is a great place to take your kids if you’re looking for an educational/informational trip. There are three museums that you can visit at the Center: the Science Center itself (general exhibits), the William Mather museum, and the OMNIMAX Theater. It does cost extra to visit the other exhibits, but there is plenty to do at the general section of the Great Lakes Science Center; if you just want to do visit the general exhibits, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!
NASA Glenn Visitor Center
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? The NASA Glenn Visitor Center at the Great Lakes Science Center does a great job at giving visitors an out-of-this-world experience!
Here you can take a peek inside the Apollo Command Module, see artifacts from Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission, learn about how astronauts live on the International Space Station, and interact with several of the exhibits in the “Discover Gallery” (like launch mini rockets). These are just a few of the things you will encounter at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center.
The NASA Glenn Visitor Center is great for all ages:
- Hands-on activities for young children
- Interactive exhibits for older kids
- Cool artifacts and information for adults.
And of course the adults can play with the hands-on activities if they want to; my family and I tried all of these cool things! My brother and I were especially interested in the mini rocket launchers.
Curious about what science has to offer to health fields? Head on over to the biomedical technology and engineering (BioMedTech) Gallery at the Great Lakes Science Center. Here, visitors can explore how different technologies can impact and improve our health. There are several interactive features at this exhibit, including a prosthetic arm that you can control through robotics.
Other features of this gallery include an MRI machine and activities that help visitors understand how their habits can affect their health. Kids also have a chance to put together strands of DNA while getting to learn about biology. There’s something for everybody in the BioMedTech Gallery!
I really enjoyed the features that demonstrated how doctors can look inside your head. I took two psychology classes during my first year of college, so I heard a lot about the different types of scans. It was cool to have interactive features help me understand them better!
Although all of the exhibits at the Great Lakes Science Center are interesting, I think my favorite part was the Science Phenomena exhibit. Here visitors can explore why and how things work and even conduct mini experiments to help them understand the hows and whys. I’m not what you would call a science geek (in fact, science was always my worst subject!) but I loved interacting with all of the exhibits!
Kids crowded this section of the Center, interacting with all of the experiments in the room in order to satisfy their curiosities. Even the adults were interested in the experiments and interacting with them!
I can’t name half of the experiments in the Science Phenomena exhibit: there are so many of them! The ones that really stood out to me were the shadow wall, the mirror that combines faces, the echo tube, the reflex timer, the balancing timer, and the train that ran on electrical waves. I also liked the prism thing that created an endless amounts of reflections, although it didn’t seem to be getting much attention. However, I love dressing room mirrors that are angled to show a million different reflections, so my preference for the prism might be a little biased!
The Great Lakes Science Center is currently hosting a special exhibition, LEGO Travel Adventure. This exhibit features international landmarks created out of LEGOs, famous portraits redone in LEGOs, and a place where children can engage their imaginations and build whatever they like with LEGOs.
The special exhibits are included in with general admission, so you don’t need to purchase a separate ticket! The LEGO Travel Adventure exhibit will be around until September 7th, 2014. The next special exhibition, Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition, will begin February 7th, 2015 and stick around until May 3rd, 2015.
Great for All Ages
I’ve mentioned throughout this post that the Great Lakes Science Center is good for all ages, and I mean that! As I’ve said, there are fun interactive activities to engage minds and information to satisfy curiosities. Since it has a bit of everything for everyone, I believe that the Great Lakes Science Center would be a good option for a family day. There’s even a section for toddlers at the Polymer Funhouse, “a place for young scientists to climb, slide, bounce, build, hop and play with polymers” (Great Lakes Science Center’s Polymer Funhouse webpage).
Interested in Visiting?
Location601 Erieside Avenue Cleveland, OH 44114
The Great Lakes Science Center is open every day (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 am – 5 pm. The William Mather Museum is open seasonally: Open May, September, October (weekends only) Open June, July, August (Tuesday – Sunday) 11 am – 5 pm.
For non-members, general admission costs $14 for adults and $12 for children (2-12). For all three attractions (general admission, the Mather Museum, and the OMNIMAX) adults pay $23 and children cost $21. The special exhibitions are included with general admission.
Money Saving Tips:
- Groups of 10 or more receive “substantial discounts,” although the website fails to mention what these discounts are (they recommend calling 216-621-2400 for more information).
- Bank of America members can get one free general admission ticket on the first weekend of any month by showing their credit or debit cards.
- Seniors, Students, and Military get $1 discount by showing ID.
You can learn more about the Great Lakes Science Center by visiting their website here.