Science World at Telus World of Science is a magical place to visit with kids. Perhaps it’s been a while since your last visit, or maybe you’ve never been. We think it’s high time that changes, so we’ve gathered a few of our favourite things about Science World, plus some tips to make sure your whole gang has an awesome time exploring this Vancouver institution.
About every four to six months, a brand new exhibit opens its doors at Science World. We love that they have a space that is always being updated to keep things fresh and new, but we also appreciate that the exhibits stick around for a bit. That gives us a chance to plan a visit, or multiple visits if the kids really fall in love with the space.
We’re excited about their newest exhibit, opening on January 25th — The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! This exhibition presents the science behind Robert Ripley’s legendary compendium of oddities, anomalies, and fantastic feats. You’ll have the chance to measure yourself against the world’s tallest man, see a calf with two faces, and a Rolls Royce made of matchsticks, plus a whole host of perplexing optical illusions. The Science Behind Ripley’s Believe It or Not will spark natural curiosities. It speaks to the important first step in science, investigation, and research — to be curious. When someone is curious about the world around them, they want to know more.
Tried and true exhibits
There are some staples at Science World that we remember from our childhood. While the spaces they are in have been heavily updated, we can very clearly recall crawling through the beaver dam and taking a peek to see what Mr. Beaver might be up to in his little home, for example. It’s now part of the Search: Sara Stern Gallery, where you can see all sorts of interesting insects up close, and a giant T-Rex too. The big hollowed tree is still there for climbing in, and there are lots of science books available for reading. Our 7-year-old loved this gallery.
Eureka! Gallery is where our 3-year-old had the most fun. You can launch parachutes, play musical instruments, and play with a huge water toy. The draw for our kiddo was the Dyson Airflow wall exhibit. Stick little Ping-Pong balls in holes at the bottom and watch them dart and fly up the wall in tubes to the top where they shoot out.
Several times a day, personable, and sometimes wacky scientists hop up on to the Peter Brown Family Centre Stage for interactive, exciting, and educational shows. They cover everything from Air to Illusions and are great for kids 4+. Shows are only around 25 minutes long and they encourage audience participation, which keeps the younger ones engaged.
There’s also the OMNIMAX Theatre shows, but we have yet to explore those with our kids — only because they are pooped after playing in all the exhibits. The website has trailers for all of the upcoming shows and schedules, so take a look to make sure the show you want to see is playing the day you plan to attend.
Dedication to kid-fun
You’ll notice on every floor, in every nook and cranny, and in every exhibit, Science World has kids in mind. From exhibits that are lower to the ground to fun interactive play spaces; Science World just seems to get what kids love.
One of their newest spaces is the Wonder Gallery, designed exclusively for early learners (ages 0 – 5) and their caregivers. It’s highly interactive and allows babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and young kiddos the opportunity to crawl, splash, build, climb, play, and experiment in over 3,300 square feet. It was created in collaboration with child development experts to encourage kids to learn through play. Here you’ll also find a kid-friendly bathroom with quieter hand dryers and kid-sized amenities.
Great for all ages
Our last trip to Science World, the adults outnumbered the kids and everyone had a blast. Sure we had fun playing with the kids, but we particularly enjoyed what we dubbed the “feats of strength” interactive station on the second level mezzanine. It was great fun trying to see who could stretch the furthest, who could jump the highest, and who could squeeze the hardest. The kids joined in too!
Here are a few tips for your trip to Science World
- Weekdays are the best days to visit if you want to avoid a crowd, and if you go on a weekend, try to aim for opening, as it tends to be a little less busy.
- If you think you might visit more than three times in a year, an annual membership is worth it. Beyond access to Science World (30 minutes earlier than the public on weekends), you get discounts at the gift shop and food service, on birthday parties and camps too. Plus you can get in free at over 300 additional science centres around the world.
- Science World is totally stroller-friendly. There’s an elevator located right near the entrance or ramps to take you up to the second level.
- Plan to spend 2 – 3 hours at Science World. Add more time if you are going to an OMNIMAX Theatre show.
- There’s a decent sized parking lot out front of Science World off of Quebec Street. Parking is paid by the hour at meters.
- The Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station is right across the street from Science World, so transit is a handy option.
- Admission does not include tickets to the OMNIMAX Theatre shows. Make sure you grab tickets when you arrive, so you get the show time you are after.
- There’s a nursing station located within the Wonder Gallery. It has a change table and comfortable seating. It’s also a great quiet space for kids needing a little downtime.
- There is food available for purchase in two locations – on the main floor you’ll find Triple O’s with lots of kid-friendly offerings, and on the second level, there’s a popcorn and snack bar. It’s a great place to hit up before heading to an OMNIMAX Theatre presentation.
Science World is a must-do for any Metro Vancouver family. It’s a fun and educational way to spend the day. What’s your favourite place to visit in Vancouver with your kiddos?
Science World at Telus World of Science
1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
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By: Michelle Hughes