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“I can't believe more people don't know about this place!”

McWane Science Center
Ranked #3 of 93 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.
Ball, Louisiana
Level Contributor
373 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 303 helpful votes
“I can't believe more people don't know about this place!”
Reviewed July 7, 2010

It literally has everything! Basically it's a children's science museum. It was 3 or 4 floors of above ground exhibits. These exhibits cover dinosaurs ( with a dino dig and a paleontology lab), animals (lots of games and videos), weather (a tornado you can touch and the kids get to make their own weather forecast!), etc. The exhibits change, so check out the website before you go. Tons of play areas for all ages. There are several sections only for children under 5. and there are even toddler sections. There's an aquarium on the LL floor, under the main entrance, where you can pet sharks and sting rays. Huge gift shop with all kinds of neat items....My only pet peeve. You are given a red piece of paper that you're supposed to hang on your shirt collar, like a paper clip. It's not sticky or anything. This is proof you paid and you are supposed to keep up with it. They fall off constantly!!!! I saw so many laying around on the floor. They should consider a bracelet or stamp or something. I'm a teacher, and I'd be worried about going on a trip here because if I have 20 kids, half are going to lose that stupid paper.

Thank Seven7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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726 reviews from our community

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Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Want to keep the kids busy for a day? You've found the place!”
Reviewed October 8, 2009

This has got to be one of the best science centers in the country, especially if you have kids. I have to say that it's probably geared towards younger kids; however, the adults were having a good time, too. It's 4 floors. We spent 3.5 hours there and never made it to one of the floors. It's a very interactive, hands-on science center. There's a huge play area for the very young kids on the top floor. There's a mini-playground area. But there's so much more....tug-o-war, petting the manarays, turning rachets, digging for dinosaur bones, feeling what it's like to be in a 70mph wind from a hurricane, dancing, testing your reflexes, and well....I could go on and on. It's a little pricey to get in, but I think it's worth the price. We drove an hour and a half to get there, and it was well worth the drive. We will definitely be going back!

Thank GinaPinAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
86 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great time @ McWayne”
Reviewed August 6, 2009

This place is absolutely awesome! We had the best time here. There was a lady on the staff named Betty. She was the sweetest lady and made a big fuss over us after she found out we had come to see McWayne all the way from Toronto, ON Canada.
The exhibits were amazing, and the new shark and manta/sting ray tank was something else!! My 10 year old had a blast at this place and so did we!!! And for the price, you can't go wrong. I am really surprised this is not higher on the list for attractions in Birmingham!!

Thank Kasakeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
near Washington, DC
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Daughter absolutely loved it (and we did too)”
Reviewed August 3, 2009

This is really a fun place! It has a wide range of things to do. Very interactive. Designed for a range of ages: lots for toddlers, lots that appeals to the kindergarten set and quite a bit for older kids as well as adults. If it were really crowded it might not be as enjoyable since its very hands on, but we were there on a summer weekend and it was still fine.

Did not do the theatre but weren't so inclined and would think that's a bit pedestrian given all the more unique things to do there.

Our daughter (4-1/2) had a terrific time and was talking about it the rest of the day. I wasn't sure she'd be entertained long before getting there, but she could have spent an entire day there (we might not have been able to keep up that long though).

This seems to be one of the few things to do in Birmingham. We'll definitely be back. I'm surprised (and disappointed) we don't have something like this in DC.

Thank Chocdiggity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“IMAX THEATER - Transformers 2”
Reviewed June 26, 2009

Extremely disappointed with the picture quality and format viewing this action film in an Imax theater. The film clarity was poor. We had a prime seating position and had difficulty following the films action on this large curved screen. It is clear that the seating position is too close to the screen leading to poor peripheral vision capability. The sould quality was very good. Do not waste your money paying a premium price to see this film in Imax. We viewed the film later that night at a Rave theater and found the experience far superior.

3 Thank Zoto1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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