The New York Hall of Science is somewhere you would think I would have taken my kids to by now. It’s come highly recommended by friends over the years, a museum great for rainy days, a place full of exploration for little minds. But living in the New York area there is always a wide range of indoor activities to choose from, a list constantly growing. So when bad weather struck the city this past weekend, we finally decided to make a trip – and how glad we are that we did. My girls were reeling when it was time to go.
About the New York Hall of Science
Located in Queens (in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park), the New York Hall of Science actually occupies an old 1964 New York World’s Fair building, one of the few remaining buidings. It is a big space with over 100,000 square feet of 450 permanent exhibits and feature exhibitions, most of them hands-on. If you have a curious child, one that likes to wonder and explore (who doesn’t?), then you really must visit this wonderful museum. Filled with activities centered on science, technology, design, math and engineering, it is for all ages, from toddlers to teens. From outer space to under the sea to climate to biology to food to sports, there are hundreds of activities that show you how science plays a role in everything we experience as human beings.
About the Exhibitions
We spent a few hours at the museum, and definitely had some favorites. I should start by saying you mustn’t miss a visit to the Great Hall, where the new science interactive exhibition Connected Worlds is located. An animated world consisting of 6 different habitats, you are encouraged to move around and connect with the world by making certain movements and gestures. With a flick of the hand you can water the plants; by moving cushions around on the floor you can control the water supply from the 38 foot projected waterfall. It is as fascinating as it is educational, and the proclaimed favorite activity of our visit. Note you have to get (not purchase, because it’s free) a timed ticket. You can just obtain one right there at the exhibition, and each interval is about 15 minutes long.
Another popular area was the Sports Challenge section, where you can do a variety of things like ride a bike, rock climb, surf, etc. that teach you how physics and physiology play a role in sports. The 3-D theater was fun as well, where we saw a 45- minute film on extreme weather (it also served as a nice break for the feet). My older daughter loved the Mathematics section, while my younger one and I played around next door with activities such as “Decoding Dog Barks” (where you listen to about 6 different types of barks and have to match it to the dog’s mood) and “Where did your ancestors’ skin color evolve?” (where you put your arm on a sensor and it shows a map of where your ancestors are from based on the color of your skin). There’s a ton of neat stuff, and so much more than mentioned here, and really you could spend all day there if you wanted.
If you have toddlers, there is a popular Pre-School section, and if you have older kids, there are all sorts of programs and discussions on everything science. Finally, you don’t have to go on a rainy day – NYSCI has an outdoor Science Playground, Rocket Park and 9-hole mini golf course. Before you leave, make sure to check out the two giant vintage rockets, Atlas and Titan, which are sure to impress the kids.
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 11th Street, Corona, NY, 718.699.0005. Admission: Adults, $15, Children (2-17), $12. Monday – Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
We haven’t been either! Dying to go.
It’s a lot of fun you guys will like it:).
This sounds brilliant, Corey, and I’m writing this on the train home from our trip to the Science Museum in London. I love how interactive and fun science museums are. I’d be fascinated to try skin matching my ancestors and decoding the dogs’ barks.
Love it, Clare – parallel worlds! Hope you guys had a great day:).
This looks great – just our kind of place! All that hands on stuff and then a 9 hole mini golf course – my son would be in heaven.
Thanks Joy – I know it’s too bad we missed the the mini golf!
Looks like a great place to have some fun and let the kids discover whatever tickles their fancy! The Connected World exhibit looks awesome! We have a similar museum in Melbourne. The sports challenges and space section were our faves there.
My girls loved the Sports section – so much fun:).
When these places work they really work, they really teach, the really engage and inform. I especially like sessions targeted at different age groups, makes sense really.
Agree – and a place where you can take the kids for years to come. get a little sad at some of the places they’ve outgrown already;(.
Science Museums seem to really know how to engage children these days. When I was at school the highlight of our local museum was a stuffed racing horse.. sorry, not joking. I would like to try out decoding dog barks and the surf machine – hopefully it’s easier than in real life! Another brilliant day out shared on #FarawayFiles – thanks Corey!
Very true, Katy – museums have come a LONG way!!
Oh wow, my daughter would adore this – she is hugely curious about everything and museums which let her get hands on are definitely top of the list. This return trip to NYC is getting longer and longer to try to fit everything in. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
That’s how I feel about London ;).
Such a cool exhibit in the Great Hall – I have never seen anything like that! Thank you for sharing for this week’s #FarawayFiles Corey – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
As always, thanks for hosting Erin!
I really love the Connected World exhibit, and there is so much to do in the museum. I actually went by myself to check the museum out one day last winter, and I really had a lot of fun, like I was a kid myself! So interactive. I didn’t feel guilty about trying things out, as the museum was very quiet that day. I’m going to have to borrow a kid for a day and go back again!
You can borrow mine anytime!;)
Decoding dog barks?? What a fantastic thing to do! I love the sound of this place. Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids
Decoding dog barks was one of my faves ;). Thanks as always for hosting!
We love these kinds of museums. Although it might be geared towards the kids, I think they’re pretty interesting as well. I’d definitely love to check this out the next time we find ourselves in New York. #CulturedKids
This looks fab, and I love how museums are so child-centred, and to be honest, I always learn stuff too! Megan X #culturedkids
Exactly! Thanks for stopping by 🙂