We've been members of this museum for nearly 5 years. We love it! It's a fantastic place to take the kids, especially when we have a day when we just aren't sure what to do. If you live locally, they've priced memberships so that, if you go three times in a year, it's worth buying a membership. Plus, you can "try before you buy" meaning, you can pay admission and go in and experience Life and Science and, if you decide you like it, you can apply what you just spent toward the membership.
We went the first time when our elder child was 9 months old. We weren't sure she'd get much out of it. But she did! And so did we. We became members that day (applying our admission toward membership) and have been members ever since.
There are indoor and outdoor activities. I think it's appropriate for every age. There are special events, too. Currently, they are hatching 1000 new blue butterflies and releasing them into their atrium, which is a beautiful space, filled with tropical plants, butterflies, fish and birds. Wonderful in cold months - it's like a mini-vacation.
We love the outdoor stuff best: Play area, outdoor drums, water pump play area, sandbox, caboose, farm animals (cow, duck, rabbits, pigs, alpacas, donkey, etc.), insects and butterflies are indoors in a separate building, dino walk and dig zone - we found an awesome huge shark tooth last year - you can keep what you find, bears, wolves, lemurs, wind zone, and the new "into the mist" exhibit is awesome for hot days! There is also a train (costs a few bucks each to ride and you must buy tix in the main entrance area, not at the train station) you can ride - my littles love that. The new cafe is much improved and the food is largely local and tasty. There is a discount with membership (10%, I believe), but the prices aren't astronomical, more like what you'd expect at a museum cafe. We do eat at the cafe sometimes - there is indoor and outdoor seating.
Inside the museum, there is a sound and motion exhibit, a section which changes regularly and is mostly interactive - like special blocks to build things, a lot of weather and space stuff that is mostly interactive, another small animal section with gators, snakes, owls, fish and such, and an indoor play space for infants and toddlers.
Every year, there's a Santa Train special event in December - tix go on sale earlier and, if you aren't a member, it's tough to get tickets. It's part of our pre-xmas tradition now, since we've done it for the past 4 years. It's the same train ride as usual, except the train only does the circuit once, but it's decorated with lights (it's in the evening) and it takes you to visit Santa, who talks briefly with each child. There are also take-home crafts and hot chocolate (included in the price of the tix), and some add-on cost items like face-painting and mementos available at the station. There are a number of other events throughout the year, but the Santa Train is the one we attend.
I feel so lucky to have this 20 minutes from where we live!
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