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“Enjoyed the planetarium and the science shows” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of HR Macmillan Space Centre

HR Macmillan Space Centre
Ranked #149 of 345 things to do in Vancouver
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Multi-media astronomy shows in the Planetarium Star Theatre are enhanced by 20-minute live demonstrations in the GroundStation Canada Theatre that keep you up-to-date on the latest space news. The Cosmic Courtyard ehibit gallery contains a real piece of moon rock you can actually touch, a J-2 Rocket Engine, artifacts and simulations. On Saturday nights you can visit the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory right next door and, if the skies are clear, you can see stars and maybe even a planet through the .5 metre Cassegrain telescope.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Forres, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Enjoyed the planetarium and the science shows”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2011

Not so sure about the exhibits but the planetarium is good and we enjoyed the science show we saw, most of it is for kids really could perhaps have more for adults bug I would still give it a go, very quite out of season which was great ;-@

1 Thank Shazzabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
134 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Was that it???”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

Not much in there, not all the interactive exhibits worked properly or had clear instructions, and overall poor value for money. The best part is the planetarium in which they provide a very good 40 minute show but the rest of the centre is a single room which we'd done in just over half an hour. They need to provide more exhibits and make the stay longer to make it a worthwhile visit. We were somewhat underwhelmed.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank hamman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
65 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Not for very young children - Don't waste your money”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2011

It was a rainy day in Vancouver, so the choice was between this Space center and the Aquarium. Although I would have preferred the aquarium, my son (age 4) and husband love planes and the space shuttle. So I said lets go here. There was really NOTHING for a 4 year old. It was all for age 8 - 12. We did go to two live shows which were interesting, but the whole (small) museum is geared for the ages 8-12 group. There were nice computer simulations or various things, but you have to be able to understand what is going on and have the motor control to move the controls.

We are from Washington DC area, so I was thinking this would be like the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum with lots of planes and space stuff to look at, it wasn't. There is very little space stuff to look at. My 4 year old would have liked to just look at planes or replicas of space stuff, but there is no room for a plane or anything of a large size. I wish I had read reviews of this museum before I took my 4 year old to it.

It was also quite expensive for what it was.

Visited August 2011
Thank altr2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Summer Evening Show good for a light nap”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2011

Boring! I purchased a Groupon which entitled the user to 2 admission tickets for $12, which is about $12 too much.

Learning does not have to be boring. For example, the Planet Earth series by PBS are enjoyed by our whole family (ages 6+). This is NOT true for the planetarium evening show.

The technology is old and out of date. There is nothing hi-def, the narrator voice is monotone and the background music is bad elevator music. My husband and I discussed it on the way home and we both agreed that they must have picked the 'Constellation Makers' program from their 1970s archives.

The kids (ages 9 & 10) also found it quite dull and not entertaining. The educational part seemed to go over all of our heads. Perhaps that is not saying a lot but if they content doesn't appeal to an 8-10 year old level, then I believe they've missed something.

The narrator spoke about stars and constellations but most of the time I did not know where to look and found I missed more than half of what I was looking for. About 20 minutes in, I was wondering how much longer I would have to endure it.

I am pleased that I didn't pay full price, however, I am annoyed that I paid anything at all AND that we travelled an hour to waste our time there.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank G_AYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Not so sunny South London :o(
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Very Frustrating. Oh Dear.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2011

Expensive. On the day we went in midweek the place was totally over run with school children. No issue with that in principle except it meant that most of the talks and shows weren't running or were running at odd times. Obviosuly your not told that before you hand over your cash, at full price.

The Museum is smaller than it looks. There wasn't that much to see in terms of exhibits, There was lots of hands on computer based stuff which we couldnt get near but that the very young kids nearby seemed happy enough playing with. There were shows/talks on most of which were aimed at children for eg "a day in the life of an astronaut" but we found them still fun and informative and the presenter was very knowledgable and enthusiastic and worked hard to cater for both adult visitors and the school groups.

The Planitarium we visited once and found very poor. Because all the talks weren't on the introduction talk for begginners wasnt available. That meant that the talks that were went completely over our heads when they talked obout what to see in the night sky. In any case the way they were conducted came across as very self indulgient and one would have to have prior knowldege to gain anything out of them. Young children must have been particularly bored and if i could have walked out i would have done. Not a statement i give lightly.

I have no idea if there was a journey to mars ride or attraction as described by others. If there was it wasnt pointed out to us before we left by the staff who were very good at collecting money but not so good at passing on info. relible or otherwise.

On a passing note there are two museums located in the same building, the Space Centre and the Museum of Vancouver, they dont sell combined tickets for the two which does seem a little strange given their entrances are 15 ft apart. They will be happy to sell you combined tickets to both the above and the maritime museum nearby however. Great if you fancy 3 museums in one day. Not so good if you just want to pay for what you want to see.

To be avoided unless you have very young children who would like the chance to play with early 80's computer software.

Visited May 2011
2 Thank Bride&GroomToBe:o)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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