Over April vacation we had the fortunate opportunity to go to the Boston Museum of Science. I was thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity to the kids and we are very thankful.
When I was younger I went to the Boston Museum of Science at least once a year. Between field trips for school and field trips for recreation there were so many chances to go. I can tell you the museum has changed so much.
First, I remember it being awesome but I definitely don’t remember it being this big so it must have gone through some expansions over the years. The last time I went was probably when our oldest two children were about 5 and 7 and they are now 30 and 32.
I had fond memories of some things that are no longer there – I distinctly remember some kinetic energy exhibits. One was a bike that we would have to pedal as fast as we can and there were three light bulbs. Just about anyone could bike fast enough to light one bulb; the energetic folks could light the second bulb; but only those who really really put their heart and soul into it could light the third! Yeah, I always lit the third… There was also almost like a roller coaster for small bowling balls. We would watch the balls twist and turn through all the obstacles carried only by kinetic energy. Both of those were no longer there – too bad, they were so iconic in my mind. I also loved the electricity exhibits – we could touch these globes that would immediately cause static electricity and no matter how long or short your hair was it could stand on end. I remember exhibits for ocean waves and exploration as well as so much about plate tectonics.
None of those specific exhibits were there anymore but they have been replaced by so much more and most of the newer exhibits have state of the art technology. The kids have my love for electricity and really really loved the electricity show!
And who doesn’t love dinosaurs – check out that giant foot print and the kids hands are the size of a tiny pebble within it!
And check out this mist that turns into a funnel cloud; and all the different sections with gears and ships! There is seriously so much that is hands on. We spent the entire day and I have to say we definitely didn’t see all that there was to see. We looked into getting an annual pass (membership) and we may end up going back and doing that especially once we learned of the Member Reciprocity. We have always had season passes to something – Six Flags, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport, Peabody Museum, Acadia National Park etc… This may be the year for the Museum of Science. We live in Connecticut but close enough to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. That means that a membership here will give us access to 23 other destinations. Some would still result in a small fee but most are free through reciprocity. That ought to keep our family busy for a while – no more rainy day blues.
There are even discounts for educators and my husband and I are both administrators in local public school districts. We totally understand the value of these types of experiences – priceless and everyone does better with hands on learning and experiences.
It is rare for all three kids to just get along and work on things together and have fun – yet look at them! They are working together to achieve desired results; they are supporting one another and teaching one another. And that space capsule – yup that has been in their exhibits for decades and decades – since I was a child! It is still a favorite for all!
Working together and touching everything! Something for everyone to enjoy and experience.
And don’t forget the gift shop on the way out. First, unlike some museums, the Boston Museum of Science does not force you to walk through the gift shop on your way out. You have a choice – purposely go into the shop or don’t. I love this. Especially if we end up getting season passes – the last thing we want is to go to the gift shop on every visit.
The thing I struggled with was the extras. Don’t get me wrong there is so much museum to see for the normal price of admission. But there is a huge amount missed because you have to pay per person, per experience. I would have loved to see the exploratory events such as the planetarium show(s) (there are many), the thrill 360 rides, 4D films or the Butterfly Garden but with a family of five they quickly became cost prohibitive. It didn’t matter to the kids – even without those we spent all day there and still didn’t see everything.
Quick tip – you can bring your own food into the museum but you cannot bring them near the exhibits. That isn’t a problem though because there are lockers to rent where you can store your food, jackets etc… They do have a food and beverage area with so many options – definitely something for everyone. We went on a really really busy day but they kept up with the cooking pretty well and even though there were probably 100 people in line before us it actually went pretty smoothly and quickly. We opted to just buy our lunch.
When you go, I highly recommend going as close to when they open as possible. We got there about an hour after the museum opened and we were able to park in the attached parking garage BUT the workers literally put a sign up right behind us that the lot was full! We made it by the skin of our teeth.
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