*Liberty Science Center generously provided us with admission for this review. All images and opinions are strictly my own.
Let me just say, this family loves science centers! They are much more than when you think of “school science.” They’re a mix of children’s museum with science, animals and that feeling of being somewhere fun and full of new things to explore. Defintely not a feeling you get in the classroom, not for my kids anyway. They claim to “hate school science” but love places like this. I had wanted to visit LSC for years and am glad we finally went. The kids get to touch, watch, climb, smell, make their own graffiti and generally get grossed out, all while learning.
Let’s start with “Infection Connection.” It was gross. Grosser. and Grossest. But honestly what tween wouldn’t freak out, I mean, LOVE to pretend to feed a tapeworm through a fake person- and I mean the whole route- while watching real tapeworms on a screen? Can it get more disgusting? Here she is doing it, see that screen? EWWW!!
How about a game of microbes vs. white blood cells where my boys battled it out. We whizzed through this part pretty fast and decided to hit the stairs to the Touch Tunnel.
Apparently this is the museums’s most popular exhibition . My kids liked it enough to crawl through twice. So what is touch tunnel? A pitch dark tunnel maze that you crawl through using only your hand to guide you. I opted out, thanks,as did several of the Moms on line near me but plenty were willing to go in with their broods. I chose to watch my kids on the screens that make it look like x-rays as they were near the exit and saw them laughing when they bumped into each other. The whole maze took them maybe 4 minutes (I think they were expecting it to be as large as a corn maze or something).
But our real fun was yet to come!
We decided to head outside to………. where kids get to go through an outdoor obstacle course called Wildlife Challenge while parents can enjoy the tremendous views of the city. For a Long Island family, the views were really cool indeed! I even got in on the action as the kids led me throught he bamboo “forest” and into the tunnel. 15 minutes later, we were back inside and told not to miss Skyscraper exhibit. I really enjoyed this room, reading the signs and learning about various sky scrapers around the world. My older two kids, though, headed up the stairs to harness up and walk an ibeam .
Trust me, it’s scarier than it looks. I overheard more than one kid telling their friends they were petrified. Downstairs the kids BEGGED me to don raincoats and hit up the “Curtain Wall test” but unfortunately one of us (not saying who) is under the required 8 years old. We wanted to stay and watch but ended up missing it. A group gets to put on goggles and raincoats and go into a glass room to experience 100mph wind and soaking rain. Well, I did go outside during Hurricane Sandy last year so I can imagine what it’s like and how any kid would be wild about doing it!
I took notes while exploring and did a little venting about the camp groups, but even with them there, we got to experience the whole museum. Once they left, around 3 pm, I felt like we were royalty, having most rooms to ourselves. I’m not sure of the weekend crowds here, or school days, but if you go, stay the whole day and allow the last 2 hours to really get into what you want and go back to what the kids loved or where the lines were earlier.
I’m not even up to my favorite room yet- the traveling exhibit called GROSSOLOGY. To be honest, yes, it is GROSS and THAT is why the kids love it. Wait until you get to the area where you get to guess is a certain smell is an armpit, a foot or an anus. I kid you not. Sad part is we got a few wrong.
This room was crowded and full of lots of laughing kids, pulling levers to create burps and farts and all that great stuff. Little ones can climb through a pretend digestive system, slide down an intestine and come out a rectum. I kid you not again. The “gross” test we took was throughly enjoyable and my son got a 100% to my 75% so maybe I am just not gross enough.
“Wonder Why” had us weighing ourselves, seeing how long we could hang on bars and making a gigantic bubble. Very fun part of the center! My 6 year old went wild with the solar race cars …you drive them by sliding a piece of wood to open a solar panel. Every boy under 8 was riveted to this for some reason. Guess you have to be a boy under 8 to understand why it’s so fascinating.
“Block party” was another hit with my little guy where giant foam blocks can be used to create anything and everything.
Upstairs on the 4th floor is the observation deck for magnificent views of real skyscrapers in NYC and fresh air. Made me want to pull up a lounge chair and pour a lemonade. Back in the exhibit, we got to see turtles and various animals and fish, and the kids played with a water and sand table for a bit. The little guy loved since it involved using a scooper and picking up and dumping the sand.
What I like is the way the center is designed. There’s nothing cramped, plenty of room at each exhibit and huge rooms to explore. There’s a simulator ride/movie where for $5 a person, you can choose your adventure, like dive with the dolphins or ride a roller coaster through outer space. All my kids did this and liked it.
Energy lab was my older boy’s favorite. If you’ve got a budding engineer , they’d like this one with all sorts of turbo tunnels, tide energy devices, and all the stuff you forgot since 9th grade science like fission, fusion, magma etc.
My other favorite place was the museum shop on the first floor. Seriously. Normally I’m not a huge fan of overpriced museum stores but this one takes the cake on cool gadgets and funky interesting gifts. I was like a kid in a candy store, Ok like a kid in a science museum shop. We all loved it, picked up some cool souvenirs and I wish I had thought to start Christmas Shopping there. I will have to tell Santa.
I’m sure there’s more I am not remembering but that’s OK. Because I do recommend anyone in the tri-state area to check out Liberty Science Center with the family and you’ll see what you all like when you visit. After our day, to avoid traffic, we drove all of one minute to Liberty State Park which had a great walking trail along the water with views of the city, all the boats, and the back of the statue of Liberty in the distance. There’s an awesome huge playground there, I’m talking the biggest I have ever seen and it’s a nice place for a picnic dinner or snack before heading home.
Visit their website at LSC.org for more info. It’s a fun day out in the tri-state area.
If you love taking day trips with the kids like I do, you may like my reviews of
Liberty Science Center generously provided us with admission for this review. All images and opinions are strictly my own.