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“Needs Extensive TLC”

Buffalo Museum of Science
Ranked #24 of 159 things to do in Buffalo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Buffalo Museum of Science offers educational and exciting experiences the whole family can enjoy, including interactive exhibit spaces, special traveling exhibits, a National Geographic 3D Cinema, collections of over 700,000 artifacts and specimens. Record your own weather forecast or step into a wind chamber in Our Marvelous Earth, explore health and the human body in Explore YOU, build your own gravity wall in the In Motion studio, explore over 1,500 insect specimens in Bug Works, or discover science with your toddler and young scientists in the Explorations early childhood gallery.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

We went here about 2 weeks ago, and were highly disappointed. It's not a museum I would ever want to visit again. Where to start? I guess with the fact that there was a lack of signs directing us to the museum. This isn't on the museum, but the city (I asked the reception desk about this). We drove around the entire complex without realizing it was the museum because there was nothing to outwardly advertise it as such.

Their new exhibit on color was very slap-dashedly put together. We were there the first day it opened, and the exhibit wasn't completely installed. There also wasn't very much to it. While there were some interesting individual exhibits about the color spectrum and prisms, the rest of it made no sense. Amongst the exhibits were random displays of native artifacts that had no relevance to color other than they seemed to be grouped by it. Overall, there was very little explanation about the displays.

The floor you enter on has a bunch of side rooms that are in the old-style dead, stuffed animal dioramas. While the animals were in decent condition (very little mange), there was very little information. And that style of exhibit is just generally boring.

The dinosaur/fossil exhibit was very tiny and cramped. I didn't spend much time in it in part because of that, and in part because my toddler wanted to run around like a little heathen. I've seen much better quality exhibits. This one seemed like an afterthought thrown in a side room.

Another disappointment was the space/astronomy exhibit, mainly because when we climbed the stairs to it, the doors were locked. No reason was given as to why the exhibit was closed, and we were not notified at the reception desk when we purchased tickets it was closed.

The building itself is in desperate need of refurbishment. It's showing it's age and felt like an underfunded geology dept that's been shunted to the side and forgotten in the back of the building. Everything in there needs a complete overhaul - starting with clearing out the dioramas.

With all this negativity, there were 3 decent exhibits. The Egyptian exhibit was nice. I would have liked to have more information in regards to the board game shown, but overall, we enjoyed it, esp the X-ray/description of the mummy.

The other positive were the 2 children's rooms. Our toddler had fun in the the one geared for younger kids - it had a water table, a slide, camp site, and various other toys. The other room was geared for older kids and had a water table (different types of material to create dams), microscopes, live rabbits, and more dead, stuffed animals. I thought the water table in the older kids' room was fairly entertaining.

1  Thank PunchieGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 - 194 of 199 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2007

The museum is average, dinosaurs, rocks, and all the usual suspects. I'd advise going only going when there is an exhibit going on, to get
the most out of your buck. The kids found it slightly boring. It takes a couple of hours to go through it all.

ADMISSION
$7 Adults
$5 Child 3-18
$6 Seniors
$5 Students with ID
Children under 3 Free

Thank sungirl101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2006

Visited the Buffalo Museum of Science in July 2006 while I was in town for a wedding. It was an afternoon wedding and I thought that I would take the kids to do something fun in the morning. It was raining so we scrapped the Military Museum and went to the Buffalo Museum of Science. All of us were very disappointed in what we saw. The museum is very run down and is in dire need of upgrading. My kids quickly became bored with looking at stuffed animals encased in glass. The vast majority of exhibits were non-interactive and boring for kids. The Egypt exhibit was very beat-up and in dire need of attention. My youngest son cut his leg on a large sharp screw that was protruding from one of the exhibits. On at least one exhibit, the directions on what to do at the exhibit were handwritted on a post-it note and taped to the exhibit.

The fourth floor exhibits on astronomy are the most interactive in the museum. They consist of about ten Mac computers loaded with PowerPoint presentations. Kids do not find it entertaining to push the space bar and change slides of planets and stars. Another Mac was loaded with an astronomy program that I have at home that came with my telescope.

Overall, it was a very disappointing experience. If you are in Buffalo with your family on a rainy day, take your money and go to the Anchor Bar and buy your kids some good chicken wings. They will enjoy that much more.

5  Thank SPFEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Buffalo, NY
11
Reviewed June 21, 2006

A recent visit left me and my husband somewhat disappointed. Many of the exhibit halls were closed and little was left for the adult visitor to enjoy. There is a new interactive science/nature gallery for young people and a play area for toddlers, but little for the mature adult. The space hall had very few activities operational. Updating needs to take place in more than half of the museum.

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2005

When my children were small, they loved to visit the Buffalo Museum of Science. They spent a long time looking at the wonderful dioramas of the Great Plains, wetlands, and Indian life; the taxidermy of many kinds of animals and birds; and the museum's very large collection of strange and mysterious insects from all over the world.

Since then, drastic funding cuts and and the administration's obvious confusion about its mission have sounded the death-knell of this once-great institution. I accompanied my son and one of his friends to the museum in October 2005. I had not visited the museum in two years, and I was shocked and appalled by what I saw.

About half the galleries off the main hall were closed, and several had junk piled up at the entrances. A ratty old sofa had been placed in one gallery (quite a difference from the elegant, antique wooden benches that once served weary visitors!), along with a table strewn with back issues of science magazines -- as if visitors go to the museum to read outdated literature!

The exhibit about ancient Egypt is in disrepair, with plaster crumbling from the main panoramic scene and other obvious damage.

The traveling exhibit in the main hall (something about "sprockets and pulleys") is a collection of animated figures and machines (though nothing as fanciful as a Rube Goldberg invention) that might be at home in a pop-art museum but doesn't lend much insight into the mechanics of gears and pulleys. The children I observed in the main hall simply ran from exhibit to exhibit, pushing buttons and quickly becoming bored with the result.

The wonderful collection of insects has been dismantled, and very few of the taxidermy exhibits remain. There is a stuffed black bear at the basement level, and for some reason, it has its paws upraised, bearing a basket of wax fruit. A science museum should be the last place to turn wildlife into whimsy.

Upstairs in the astronomy area, the spectacular models of the planets are gone. In their place are two machines of some sort, both labeled "Out of Order," and a couple of computers, which are not quite the novelty they might have been 20 years ago.

The hands-on discovery area for children now requires a timed ticket, to be purchased upon admission. For a family of four, this would cost an extra $12. My advice: save the $12 and take your kids for a walk in the woods so they can see real birds and animals and collect their own rocks and feathers.

Many exhibit cases contain items that have nothing whatever to do with one another, as if someone indiscriminately pulled a number of things out of an attic and put them on display. ("Look at this neat stuff!") There is no continuity of theme and little effort to help children in particular put the items into context.

Even the gift shop, which once offered lovely jewelry, scientific books, and educational toys, now occupies about a quarter of its former space and offers very few items -- most along the lines of pencils, freeze-dried ice cream, and glow-in-the-dark plastic bugs. And if you get hungry during your visit, make sure you have change for the pop and candy vending machines, because that's all you'll find on hand.

If you're a visitor from out of town, be sure to visit the Buffalo Zoo and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, but don't waste your time at the science museum. Both my son and his friend are enthusiastic about science, but they couldn't get out of there fast enough. For a total of $17 for admission, the experience went beyond boring to downright depressing.

12  Thank Pastiche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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