Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio

The Great Lakes Science Center is a fantastic place for curious kids and adults. It has a lot of exhibits, is easy to get to, and seems to keep the kiddos entertained indefinitely.

The only drawback may be that some of the exhibits are difficult to grasp for very young children. My 3.75 year old, Thing1, has only recently developed the patience needed to notice what’s happening enough to be in awe. This isn’t to say that the venue doesn’t work for younger kids. In fact, Thing2 (two years old), has a great time, too. The difference is that she spends most of her time running from booth to booth mashing buttons like she just doubled down on a bet to be settled by Mortal Kombat and doesn’t know any combos. She has a great time, but if you’re not ready for it, you’ll be frustrated that you can’t experience any of the science yourself. Having been a few times before, this isn’t an issue for Wife or me anymore.

They also have a fantastic play area that any kid under about seven or eight would love (any older than that and you’ll probably enjoy the actual science stuff more). We save it for the end so we can use it as a bribe, and take a break while the kids literally run themselves out of steam. Most of my pictures are from this area.

Getting ready (wife made amazing banana chocolate chip pancakes while I slept!):

science-center science-center-3

NOM NOM NOM

science-center-1 science-center-2

With full bellies, we made it to the Science Center after stopping to calm the troops just once.

science-center-5 science-center-4

(Pro tip: take a decent cell phone pic of your kids when you get to a busy place. This way, if they get lost you have a handy picture of exactly what they look like and what they’re wearing. If it’s on a cell phone, you can share it quickly if needed, too. And, if you don’t need it, you at least have a couple cute pics.)

science-center-6 science-center-7 science-center-8

Bernoulli’s Principle:

(Note: video cuts out as Thing1 begins to climb the exhibit in pursuit of the beach ball.)

They had a neat display on DNA sequencing, including a board asking people what they thought about it:

science-center-18

science-center-22 science-center-19 science-center-21

And this one that triggered a memory of a hilarious comic:

science-center-20

Maya filled out her own sheet:

science-center-25 science-center-26

I bet her feelings are shared by many.

Before we left that exhibit, Wife got a chance to school us in DNA building:

science-center-17 science-center-16

Then we did something new: took a tour of the steamship William G. Mather. Unfortunately, I have very few pictures of it. Suffice it to say, it’s utterly massive. Here’s a pic from Wikipedia that really doesn’t do it justice:

mather

science-center-30 science-center-28science-center-29 science-center-27

Thing1 tailing Thing2 in a flight simulator: “I’m on your six!”

science-center-14

“Uh oh!”

science-center-11

“I got this one, Goose.”

science-center-12

“Engage.”

science-center-13

And finally, the ball pit.

science-center-9

The pit has this cool bucket that the kids fill through various means. At any time, someone can pull a chain to dump it.

science-center-10

And they often do.

If you’re looking for a fun afternoon, check it out.