The Museum of Innovation and Science is awesome! My family became members of the Maryland Science Center (Baltimore) about 10 months ago. With that membership, we get free admission to participating science museums. In that time, we have been to the MD Science Center about a dozen times, but also we have been to these other participating science museums: Franklin Institute (Philly), Imaginarium (Ft. Myers, FL), MOSI (Tampa, FL) and finally this museum. I think this museum is great. For the size of the city and the creativity of the museum, this museum wins hands down for the best small size city science museum I have been to. There is lots of hands on stuff and some of it appears to be unique to this place. For example there is a hands on thing to do and the sign will say who designed it, which makes me think someone won a competition and this is the results. There are so many cool hands on things to do that I have NOT seen at other science museums (see list above). They have things had other science museums have too. We were there during the temporary dinosaur exhibit. Those animitronic dinosaurs were excellent.
We had a 6 year old with us and he enjoyed the place. I would have liked to park my kid somewhere and enjoy some of the exhibits without him, but there was no kid parking (kidding).
There was a planetarium show, for which we paid extra. My husband and son enjoyed it. We attended the show aimed at young children. This is now the second planetarium show I have slept through, so I cannot comment. I guess, if you get me into a dark space in chairs where you can close your eyes, I just fall asleep. I don't think this is a comment on the show, just how I react to dimmed rooms with comfortable chairs.
The reason we were in Schenectady in the first place was because we were vacationing in Lake George (1 hour away) and it was raining horribly. It is really worth the 1 hour drive to go to this museum. This was on my rainy day list of things to do, so that is how we happened to be there in the first place. The museum is very popular on rainy days and has extended summer hours.
Oh and although the museum store is small, they have some pretty nice stuff in it. Maybe because it is so small, it is easier to look at everything so I found some very cool stuff.
I think you can do about 1/2 day there. We got there at 10:30 am and stayed until 11:30, went out to lunch and came back for the planetarium show and then looked at more of the museum. I could have stayed longer myself, but my 6 year old does not have my attention span.
I have read some of the other reviews and I don't get it. I thought the displays were fascinating. It is not as big as the Franklin Institute or MD Science Center, but it has some great stuff. I can't imagine why it is the lowest attraction in this city. I would rate it #1. Maybe more people who appreciate science museums need to write reviews. This place is awesome. I even liked looking at the old electrical appliances and fans and things they have on display. GE has been a big part of Schenectady and they are part of this museum as well.
There is no cafe to eat. People bring lunches and eat in the lobby and an eating area. Denny's is a few blocks away, we went there to meet my cousin for lunch and came back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.