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“So much fun... but need more new stuff”

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
Ranked #65 of 311 things to do in Tucson
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located on the University of Arizona campus, Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium inspires visitors of all ages with the wonders of science. Explore the solar system and beyond in Flandrau’s state-of-the-art planetarium theater, featuring a fulldome digital projection system that can launch from the Earth and fly to planets, moons, and asteroids. Flandrau also offers fun interactive science exhibits that will engage the whole family, and the dazzling specimens of the UA Mineral Museum. Current exhibits topics include earth science, astronomy, math puzzles, and gemstones. Open Daily, see website for hours, showtimes, and admission prices.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Love the UofA, the Planetarium, and all that they do but it gets a little boring after a while. I made a huge day for my kids to enjoy and they were bored after just a little bit. Time for Flandrau to see what other planetariums are doing and get themselves updated and upgraded.

1  Thank squishdirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"mineral museum"
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"jewelry collection"
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49 - 53 of 61 reviews

Reviewed October 8, 2012

The UA has created a wonderful forum where both children and adults can learn so much about science! Keep it up, we need more places like it

Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

The Flandrau observatory is open many nights -- for free - for visitors to look into the sky using their telescope. We were there by ourselves one Thursday night as soon as it was dark and had a private lecture from a very knowledgeable astronomer. We saw four of Jupiter's moons, and Mars. Quite an experience for three Brooklynites!

Thank Jeanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Bored at home & it was hot so I took my granddaughter here. She loves rocks and this was the perfect place for her. The staff was so helpful and one gentleman spent quite some time with her as he saw she knew her stuff. Parking is very minimal and that was a drawback for me as it took me over 20 min to circle before I could park.

Thank Judy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2012

On June 5th of this year, 2012, Tucson’s own Flandrau Science Center hosted a celebration of a very rare celestial event…The Transit of Venus! Humanity won’t get to see another one until the year 2117, so missing it was not an option. After arriving there around 3 p.m., I wanted to experience and participate in as many of the planned activities as possible, and had a wonderful time!
The University of Arizona Astronomy Club generously brought a wide variety of different kinds of telescopes, safely outfitted with sun filters, for people to view Venus’ journey across the face of the largest star in our solar system, the sun. These were set up on the lawn in front of Flandrau. Enthusiastic club members on hand answered questions about their respective scopes and helped field any and all questions about the transit being viewed. There were also some shade tents. This thoughtful touch was much appreciated. Even though it was early June, the infamous Arizona temps had already started to rise.
The variety of scopes at the event was amazing. Pictures of some of them accompany this article. After viewing the transit through them, I went inside Flandrau to cool off a bit and to purchase a pair of “solar glasses” at the bookstore to safely view the transit. The bookstore is a treasure trove. Seriously. There’s a huge variety of books for all ages- dedicated to astronomy, space exploration, earth sciences and more. There are sky maps and charts that can come along on camping trips, or to one’s backyard to locate constellations, galaxies and points of interest in our night skies. Along with all the other goodies, the store has science-themed shirts, mugs, models of various spacecraft, polished semi-precious stones, mounted mineral specimens, dinosaur-related items and a wealth of other items all relating to earth and sky sciences. I’ll remember this shop whenever looking for gifts as there’s truly “something for everyone” here.
I asked one of the Center’s knowledgeable docents about what sorts of activities and programs are available there and the gentleman was a veritable encyclopedia of information, starting with the observatory schedule available at NO charge, 7-10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, weather permitting, year round. You can even rent the Observatory for your own event on Monday and Tuesday nights. But there’s SO much more. There’s Discovery programs, Camp-ins, Star Parties, laser light shows, a planetarium, a beautiful mineral museum right on the premises-did you know that Arizona is called “The jewel box of America?” Visit here to see why!
Exhibits are always changing. Going on now, is one entitled: “Biters, Hiders, Stinkers and Stingers.” While this might sound like a gathering of politicians, the rest of the title is: “Toxicity and Other Amazing Adaptations.” The exhibit actually explores nature’s strategies for survival among its inhabitants…and a few of those interesting inhabitants are here for all to see. Another part of the building hosts: “100 Years of Arizona’s Best-The Minerals That Made the State,” and features a glittering array of exemplary examples of mineral specimens and historic photos celebrating the States history of mining and exploration.
A question puzzled me though as I admired the myriad examples all around me of earth and sky science, the denizens that share the planet with us and how it all relates. I posed the question to a friendly and very knowledgeable gentleman by the name of Mr. Shipherd Reed. Shipherd is the Digital Media Producer for Flandrau Science Center. I asked: “Shipherd, I see that Flandrau features not only astronomy-related exhibits, but a great deal more than just that. Why is that so?” He replied: “That’s a big world out there with so many fascinating things going on within it. The Center wants to inspire people to learn about science AND technology. Here, we make science fun!” I agree. I’ve only mentioned a few of the many activities and programs available here year round. Come visit Flandrau, let it inspire you and perhaps instill a lifelong interest in learning about not only our world, but those beyond! Their website is: www.flandrau.org

1  Thank steelbreeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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