This month I’m taking on the Orlando Science Center near downtown Orlando. It’s been raining all week and Tiffany and I want to get the kids out of the house and off their digital distractions for the day. The Orlando Science Center is a perfect choice! It’s only an hour or so away from where we live, plus it offers fun for everyone and has so many interesting educational experiences that have to do with science.
The science center was incorporated in 1955 as the Central Florida Museum and opened in Orlando Loch Haven Park in 1960. The existing facility opened in 1997 and has undergone numerous major renovations to keep content current.
Our walk to the entrance tells me that we have definitely made the correct choice for our rainy day excursion. We cross the street from the 2nd-level of the parking garage, which is enclosed in glass, providing the perfect photo opportunity. While entering the ticket counter informs us of all the spectacular shows and exhibits available for us to experience and how to get to them.
We are starting on the 4th level and working our way down. Porter is especially excited that we are starting on floor 4 because he loves dinosaurs and there are so many great exhibits, replicas and actual fossils of some of his favorite types of dinosaurs.
I find myself gravitating towards the lunar simulation – see what I did there? Am I some kind of lunartic? All bad jokes aside, the simulation of landing a rocket is out of this world! Sorry, I had to sneak in one more.
What I am really enjoying is the educational value of every stop we make, like how a tornado forms, what types of structures can last through an earthquake and the force of howling winds against sand forming dunes.
One floor down and we arrive at Dogs: A Science Tail, a new exhibit that will run through September 4th. Ready, set, go! Porter and I are running in a dog race so to speak, actually we are being clocked against the top speed of various dogs. Porter’s top speed was 12.3 mph, which is faster than a pomeranian. I clocked in at an incredible 7.8 mph, which is as fast as a basset hound. Woof! While Porter keeps trying to break the corgi speed record I do some dashing myself to another side of the floor and find Bailey ready to simulate a weather forecast complete with green screen and teleprompter. She is a natural and finding it hard to believe but still reporting a snowstorm headed to central Florida. How’s that for climate change?
Fun, exciting and interactive, the shows throughout the tour have provided so much entertainment and education on all different aspects of science. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and informative.
Our stomachs are telling us it’s time for a quick bite, which is perfect because the 4 Roots Cafe is right on our way. A living wall of ingredients used in their salads and sandwiches are perfectly complimenting their locally grown vegetables. Every bite of my Greek sandwich (pictured below) is delightful and so fresh.
If you are eating, also check out Food Heroes, a perfect compliment exploring the complexities of our food system and how we can make it more sustainable.
The Great Barrier Reef is beginning and it is in an 8 story, 360-degree theater that is being narrated by actor Eric Bana, Australian actor and co-star in the movie Troy. I especially enjoy that the children are
learning how important the reef is to our ecosystem and the importance of protecting and conserving this natural phenomenon.
The OSC has scheduled events, summer camp programs and new and upcoming exhibits that you can find on their website. One of their new exhibits soon to be up and running later this year is called, “Animals. Humans. Climate. Life.” It will tell the story of conservation through the animals that share our planet. Visitors will better understand how their actions affect all living things.
Learning, playing, getting out of the house and away from the computer. We are each taking with us our own favorite parts from the experience at the Orlando Science Center together. I highly encourage all to do the same for you and yours.
Until next month, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
- If any one of our readers can name the person behind that quote there will be a special shout out and a free ECC t-shirt (like the one I am rocking below) for the first person that sends the answer to the editor!
ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER
777 E. Princeton St.
Orlando, Florida 32803