Exploring their surroundings through touch, is one of the main ways children learn about the world. They love to get their hands on everything — often things which are dangerous, expensive or both. This love for grabbing all the things, can make visiting museums tough for families with small children.
Their acceptance and even insistence that kids manipulate and interact with their exhibits is why I love science museums. Children are curious beings, and offering them opportunities to see how things work is crucial for their development. Nothing beats seeing a child’s eyes widen in wonder at the sight of something remarkable.
During the winter break, my family visited Liberty Science Center. Located in Jersey City, N.J., just across from lower Manhattan, this museum has plenty to offer kids of all ages. Even grown-ups can tap into their inner child and have fun.
Toddlers and preschoolers will especially enjoy the “Doc McStuffins” exhibit, where they can dress up like a doctor or vet to care for sick toys and sick toy pets. The exhibit features an Emergency Room, nursery and animal clinic. Woven through the exhibit are opportunities to teach kids about common ways to stay well and prevent infection.
Little ones can also play and explore in the museum’s I Explore area. There they can climb, paint and build, all while learning about such basic scientific concepts as simple machines, gravity and friction.
Older children will love the thrill of the Infinity Climber. A climbing structure suspended 35 feet above the floor will surely test their sense of adventure. And if they are feeling especially brave, why not let them try the Touch Tunnel? In this exhibit, participants must crawl through an 80-foot tunnel in complete darkness, relying only on their sense of touch to get them through.
Visitors of all ages, will be fascinated (and maybe a bit disgusted) by the Microbes Rule! exhibit, and intrigued by the numerous ways to create power demonstrated in the Energy Quest exhibit.
Depending on when you visit, there are plenty of seasonal eventsseasonal events to capture the imagination and spark your kid’s inner scientist. On our visit, our family helped solve a holiday mystery, by using various techniques including finger-print analysis and process of elimination to figure out who stole the cookies.
There is so much to see in do, this post barely covers what you might find. As I tell my kids, we can always visit again.
All that exploring works up an appetite, and Liberty Science Center’s Cafe Skylines has numerous options to satisfy hungry patrons. From brick oven pizza to fresh salad, there is plenty for every member of your family.
If you live or plan on visiting the New York/New Jersey metro area, be sure to put Liberty Science Center on your to-do list.