Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pacific Science Center

If you live in the greater Seattle area or plan on visiting Seattle sometime, the Pacific Science Center is a great place to visit. It's a fun place for kids and adults alike. It is a wonderful place for homeschoolers because it is full of all kinds of learning experiences.

Recently I took the my kids there. It was my second visit (my first was over 11 years ago) and their first. After spending more than 5 hours there, they did not want to leave. They loved it that much. We are looking forward to going back.

The Pacific Science Center has not one, but two, IMAX screens. They show a wide variety of IMAX films from great documentaries, to IMAX versions of movies showing in the regular cinemas, to 3-D films. Because we were studying Lewis & Clark, our first stop was to view "Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West". This film blesses you with spectacular scenic views while walking you through a recreation of Lewis & Clark's famous journey. After seeing the IMAX film, rent the movie from Blockbuster Online so you can see the special features which take you through how they filmed the movie.

Our first stop after the movie was the animatronic dinosaurs, of course. They were really cool! All throughout the exhibit you can find tons of information about the dinosaurs that have been recreated for your enjoyment.
The butterfly house was a hit. Imagine being inside a lush tropical green house surrounded by butterflies. It's beautiful. It's warm (nice during the winter). It's peaceful. Here's a photo of Sammy studying a laminated card to identify the butterfly that the lady is pointing to. He really took it seriously.
The science center is constructed of a U-shaped building(s) with an outdoor courtyard. In that courtyard is a variety of fun things to do. There's a bicycle that you can ride on a 1 inch rail several feet above the water, a giant hamster wheel, a huge granite ball you can roll around, and these fun water cannons.

There's also a whole section devoted to learning about how the human body works. Here's my daughter learning about calories and how much you have to work to expend different amounts of calories.

There was a room filled with sound and music experiments also. Here's Sammy trying out different sizes of metal bowls to see how they each emit a different pitch.

We found another sound experiment outside. This one was about sound collection. One person stands and talks into the dish,using a normal voice, through that small blue circle. Way over that way is an identical red dish where your friend is hearing, quite clearly, every word you are saying.

Another fun spot in the Pacific Science Center is their indoor tidal pool touch tank. I could not pull my daughter away. We had to stop by for a second visit to it before we could go home.

They even have a place for the 4ish and under crowd. It's next to the touch tank. They have several of these bead thingies for the kids to eat play with. Josh seemed to enjoy looking at everything we had been exploring but he really appreciated his own play place.

There were also plenty of soft climbing toys for him to practice cruising on and a water table waiting for him when we go back.

We couldn't leave without checking out their real and casted dinosaur bones. Just be careful that the big one doesn't eat your head!

We also pretended to be archaeologists. Dragging my son away from this one was difficult.

Then we went upstairs and looked at more dinosaur bones and eggs. It was a neat building full of bones.
I hope you enjoyed this short tour of the Pacific Science Center. If you didn't get enough, feel free to OD feast on over 8 minutes worth of photos from our trip. Or, even better, stop by there yourself.

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Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

It really is a great place to go, isn't it? I just checked, and the last time we went was December 2006, so we are overdue! I'm going to plan a new trip eventually...Oh, I did take pics of the Lowe's kids clinic crafts, but I haven't gotten the blog done yet, I'm hoping to have time soon.