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“Fun & Educational”

McWane Science Center
Ranked #3 of 92 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX(R) Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder - from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds, and an awe-inspiring aquarium. The energy and excitement of discovery spring to life through an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by talented educators. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX(R) Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on a 5-story-tall screen surrounded by 3 tons of high-intensity speakers.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Fun & Educational”
Reviewed August 13, 2011

Our family LOVES LOVES LOVES McWane!! It is pricey.

I do believe you can ask for a membership the day of your visit and apply what you paid that day for tickets to the yearly membership...this might be worth it for your family, if your plan to return.

I recommend making the most of your visit by going at a time when schools will not be visiting. Go EARLY, be there when the doors open, preferrably on a Monday or Tuesday...later in the week gets busier....You can pay less for parking if you park on the street near the entrance...I have never had a problem finding parking....

Take your time to really explore and discuss the exhibits with your children. Ask staff if you have questions...we have always enjoyed our visits and had to leave before seeing everything...kids just love this place!...If you are a family visiting Birmingham, I would definitely consider McWane for a fun & educational morning.
Our favorite exhibits include: the dino dig, the shadow walls on the top level, just mice size, and the sharks.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank Sneezygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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727 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Memphis, TN, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Families cannot miss this attraction in Birmingham”
Reviewed August 7, 2011

Wow! The McWane Center is truly a world-class attraction, with four floors of science-based exhibits, all of which function as they should and engage children, teens and adults in a host of ways. This place is up there with the Chattanooga Aquarium in terms of quality, just to give you an idea. If you are a member of your local science museum (ASTC -- Association of Science and Technology Centers), you will get in to the exhibits for free. You still have to pay full price for parking, food, and the IMAX, but parking is only $5 flat and you do not actually need the IMAX to have a great time here. Which is not to say it isn't a really cool IMAX! It is a dome-shaped IMAX that gives you the feeling of 3D without the glasses. And here is a first: The cafeteria's "Fresh off the Grill" station serves free-range chicken sandwiches on light whole-wheat buns and a variety of fries that aren't really fried, and gives you nutrition information on its offerings. There's also Pizza Hut and Build-a-Bowl (asian noodles) within this cafeteria. I mean this museum is educational, beautiful, functional and clean. It is just fabulous. Don't miss it!! Be sure to purchase a parking token at the admission desk in case you don't have correct change ($5) to get out of the garage.

Visited August 2011
Thank VTraveler827
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“great place for kids”
Reviewed July 5, 2011

I loved the mcwane center from the bed of nails to the imax theatre from the sharks and stingrays to the weather exhibit!! your kids will lobe it your grandkids will love it. They have electranical stuff and games and a bike you ride across the ceiling. This is a truly awsome place for the family so come on down for some fun bring a little extra cash for some of the fun extras.

Thank christy1280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoover, Alabama
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Awesome for BIRTHDAYS!”
Reviewed May 23, 2011

We had our childs birthday party here and it was a complete success! All the kids loved the entertainment from the host! After the cake and ice cream we got to enjoy the museum! It was well worth the money!

Visited May 2011
2 Thank mommysworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Mcwane is for kids-one time visit”
Reviewed May 15, 2011

We have a grandparent membership so I take my grands to visit McWane. A hands on science center which entertains the kids. From the adult perspective: From the counter/check people to the staff people including at the pet the shark display, they show an
amazing amount of boredom. They will not interact with the kids, they yawn, and they barely speak to an adult. The few places to sit are dirty, the cushions need replacing. Food court is a joke - high prices, snarly staff. Several exhibits were missing pieces which made interaction a challenge. Many exhibits were very dirty. School groups are not
supervised - the kids were 9-12 age range. Ran up/down the stairs, would jerk toys/exhibits away from the grandchildren (ages 4 and 5) My grandson wanted to know why the big kids were so mean! However, for the price (and parking is $5) one visit is enough. The place shows its age and apathy. Will not be renewing my membership nor will I renew the memberships I give as gifts.

Visited May 2011
3 Thank FunnyPaper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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