Thursday, August 29, 2013

Keep It Local: Maryland Science Center

One of the best things about living in D.C. is all the free access to wonderful museums. It doesn't matter if we pop in for 20 minutes and one of us loses it, forcing everyone to leave. It was $free.99. Mom dislikes the pressure visiting paid museums puts on all of us. So she was a little nervous about driving all the way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center. She showed us some of the exhibits online and made sure that we thought we'd like it ("cause we're not leaving once we're in," may have been tossed our way). Then she remembered that we joined the Franklin Institute last year and got reciprocal admission to the Science Center. Phew.

Turns out she had nothing to worry about, because we stayed at the Science Center for almost 6 hours. 6 HOURS. And even then we didn't want to leave.

We did almost everything, but our top hits included:
- the Kids Room (for kids 0 - 8) -- featuring a large waterplay area, an underwater play scene, a giant pinscreen and a whole slate of things to tinker with;

- the Dinosaur Mysteries Exhibit -- displaying over a dozen full size dinos and a working field lab and dig pits; and

- Newton's Alley -- providing hands-on demonstrations of Sir Isaac's principles.

The best thing, about all of the exhibits really, was that each of them offered lots of hands-on opportunities to explore and discover. We know this isn't technically a "kids museum," but it sure was designed with kids in mind. There were also ongoing demonstrations throughout the day and that helped break up some of the monotony that can develop from going to exhibit after exhibit (although that wasn't really a problem here in the first place).

Mom finally dragged us out around 3:30 -- worried that we'd hit traffic if we waited much longer. Then Cam decided she wanted to geocache and we set out looking for a supposed "easy find" (if there is one thing you can suck mom into doing, it's geocaching). We didn't find the cache, but we did find the carousel next door and then we just HAD to have a ride on that.

We wish it was just a bit closer, but the Science Center has still moved to the top of our favorite local museums list -- we can't wait to go back for the new Mummies of the World exhibit, opening at the end of September!

You can check out the Maryland Science Center's hours right here. Don't forget to look at all of the great programming they have as well -- we missed "Gizmos, Gadgets, and Gears: A DIY Summer" during our visit because we didn't check the schedule ahead of time. It's there only until Labor Day so go while you can!

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