The first exhibit you see when you enter is the plexiglass climbing exhibit in the center atrium. At 6 years old, my son is getting a little big for it, but he'd spend a solid half hour here when he was younger. My only complaint is that it doesn't go any place. You climb to the top and then back down. At a few other children's museums we've been to (e.g., Houston), the climbing exhibit actually takes you from one floor to the next and exhibit to exhibit. That said, the first floor entry/exit is nice from a "keeping track of your kid" perspective...i.e., that way they don't get out someplace else and wander off.
The next place we always stop is the automotive exhibit. They have some race car simulators there that are always popular. My complaint here is that there's no queue to line kids up to get in to the simulators, so it ends up being a bit of a free for all trying to get a turn. There is also an "Automoblox" exhibit where you can build cars and time them on a course or race them down an obstacle course (you can configure the obstacles yourself...hills, bumps, different textures, etc.).
Next up are the wind experiments. My son isn't very interested in these yet, so we haven't spent much time here. That said, there's a wind tunnel where you can experiment with different objects, a paper airplane station, a wind column station and a wind powered tube delivery system (send plastic balls through various pipes and valves to a destination). There's also a space shuttle flight simulator here (which is generally where my son spends time).
Next is the grocery and body exhibits. We spend very little time here, but some kids seem to love it. The most interesting part of this exhibit for my son is that the grocery items have bar codes and the cash registers have bar code scanners (he likes to scan a few things).
Upstairs they have a rotating exhibit, construction exhibits, a small children area and a light exhibit. I always enjoy the hands-on construction exhibits. My favorite is probably the exhibit where you build a tower and control an earthquake to see how long your tower can stand. My son spends most of his time with the controllable robot arm and conveyor/package exhibits. He also loves playing tic tac toe with the robot.
The light exhibit is confusing (and that is coming from an engineer). I can't figure out what they're trying to demonstrate with many of the handheld lenses/mirrors and have an impossible time trying to explain it to my son. That said, they do have a really great laser exhibit where they project lasers on the wall and let you alter the laser paths with magnetic lenses that stick to the wall. The light bright wall just before the light exhibit is also fun to experiment with.
They also have a great water exhibit in the basement. Very intricate and lots to see and appreciate. The basement also house a music exhibit and an animation exhibit, both of which are very cool. It's hard to classify what the last exhibit area is in the basement. It's a bit of construction, but much more free form.
There's also a cafe in the basement. It provides a nice convenience for times when you're not finished with the museum but need to grab a bite to eat. The food was pretty good last time we tried is, but that was closer to the opening, and a lot of things have changed since then.
The gift shop used to have a lot of interesting toys and games, but has really been scaled back and really doesn't add any value to the experience any more.
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