If you're reading TripAdvisor reviews, you're a planner. So you'll probably plan anyway. But for the science center, it is absolutely critical to get the most out of your visit. I've been to LSC a few times before: wandering, wondering, enjoying. It's been worth the trip, but I always felt a little disoriented, or we'd show up as a live show in the main atrium was just finishing and feel left out. However, this time I decided up front what we wanted to see plus, when we got there, sought out a map and "events" schedule for the day (surprisingly, we had to look/ask). So much better!!
I went with an 8 year old and 4 year old who didn't always agree on what they wanted to do but each always knew there was something else to look forward to. Most major events, exhibits are fun. Wonder Why is the typical science museum for kids stuff (bubbles, etc.) and a perennial favorite. iExplore is perfect for younger kids (age 2-5) but beware that, depending on staff and crowds, they can restrict older siblings from entering which is a no-go for a solo parent. Late 2013 (maybe into 2014) is a Bob the Builder exhibit. Most kids seemed to have fun but I thought the science link was weak. Mostly just kids building with blocks, pushing Bob-themed trucks around, etc. My older was bored (we expected) and my younger played for a few minutes with a building exhibit then ended up playing on a small slide. Again, other kids looked happy but it just seemed like any other indoor play area to me so don't go just for Bob and/or don't expect this to be your big breakthrough to get your younger kids into science.
Bonus if you are going now/soon (late 2013/early 2014), there is a new baby tamarin and a baby tortoise to see in "Eat and Be Eaten" (3rd floor). The taramin is a baby girl who was born Oct 22, 2013. She's tiny and adorable clinging to mom's back; I'm sure she'll only get cuter as she starts to play with her sisters, etc. The baby tortoise, named Tortellini, will be 2 years old January 20 (born 2012) but is still tiny, for a tortoise, and could fit in your palm. Tortellini is in a separate tank in the back of that exhibit. Very cute!
A few tips: There a fun "PixelPalooza" activity right by the stairs on the 4th floor that was totally un-busy and quite fun. You run around and try to knock out the pixels w your shadow and reveal the scene ... then they take a picture of your group and you can e-mail it to yourself. Fun and massively underrated; both kids were highly entertained for 10-15 minutes. The "Art of Science" is a display from Princeton University. Pictures line the hall between elevator and stairs on 3rd & 4th floor. No crowd whatsoever, very cool for older kids and, frankly, beautiful. Only 5-10 minutes (snack break for the younger one) but inspirational for the right kid. Plus seek out the unadvertised activities in a few of the rooms -- you can sign up to do an experiment, play surgeon, dissect a cow's eye. Lots of cool stuff if you know what to look for and ask about. Bathrooms are everywhere, clean and not crowded. Staff is friendly, although some are enthusiastic interns who may not know all the science answers. Still it's nice to find somebody when you need logistical help. Oh, and don't miss the fantastic view of NYC and Statue of Liberty from outside "Our Hudson Home." There's an outdoor viewing terrace just past the "touch tank" in the back. Enjoy!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.