We took a family trip to the Liberty Science Center today, which by address is in Jersey City, NJ - though I am fairly certain we crossed into NY, as we saw the sign "Welcome to New Jersey" on our drive home. Hrm.
What a great day we had.
I can remember not too long ago, a time when I would never have imagined venturing to cultural destinations like a museum or a science center with my son in tow. Big crowds, hustle & bustle, potential for lots of clapping - a recipe for disaster with an autistic child. Still, we take a "proceed with caution" approach as we venture onward and outward into the big big world. Today's trip to the Science Center seemed too good for us to not try as we were treated to the museum as part of the SVmoms blogger community of which I'm a part of. Indeedy, if you haven't already you can read more of me over at New Jersey Moms Blog - please do check us out!
So, off we went, the whole family, to check out the Liberty Science Center where we spent no less than 4 hours exploring and learning and exploring some more. There is no way I could possibly wrap up everything we saw other than to say the whole family enjoyed the day. There was so much to see and do for both my daughter (not quite 4 years old) and my just turned 8 year old son (with autism).
When we got there we immediately headed into an up close and personal animal exhibit where the kids got to see and touch such niceties as a snake and a turtle. We also learned quite a bit about the Cane Toad, which to my surprise walked and didn't hop away! Of course, I had to catch this on my mino. Any excuse to mino, right?
I so appreciated the science guy who ran this animal exhibit. He stated several times to keep applause quiet for the animals sake, and this was just what my son needed also. Thank you, Mr. Science guy. You rock, lots.
Afterwards, we headed into a SubZero lesson to learn about liquid nitrogen and gasses. We took a brief cooldown and ventured into a hands-on area where the kids did worksheets all about the phases of the moon. My son is a big fan of the moon and has a solar system bedroom with the Moon in My Room remote control moon on his wall. So, it was no surprise he already knew all the phases of the moon and what order to put them in. That's my little smarty pants! We then waited patiently before entering an indoor solar system exhibit that my little guy just could not wait to go in. He's enjoyed similar solar system "stuff" at the nearby Monmouth Museum, so again this was not a surprise. What was a surprise was the fact that this LSC exhibit included Sesame Street characters.. did someone say Elmo? Yes! This was just what the doctor ordered for my little 3 year old who would have otherwise been bored by all that astronomy. Still, she soaked in quite a bit of it and was talking about the North Star and the Big Dipper (looks like a teaspoon to her!) during her bath tonight.
Once we'd "done" these fabulous shows, my husband and I decided that there was no reason to call it a day and we ventured out into the rest of the Science Center where we took in the exhibits on 2 of the 4 floors before calling it a day. Favorites included the Eat and Be Eaten exhibit on the 3rd Floor and the fish from the Hudson exhibit on the 4th. Somewhere in between there was a giant sneezing nose that gave the kids lots of laughs, also. We finished our day up on 4 with lots of hands on science perfect for the kids - making a giant bubble, suspending a ball in air, and climbing the rock wall.
At the end of day, I have a pretty good feeling that we'll go back to the Liberty Science Center again.
READER DISCOUNT: The Liberty Science Center would like to offer our readers a printable coupon. Print out THIS COUPON and bring it to the Box Office to receive one FREE child exhibition ticket with the purchase of a regular price adult ticket. This special offer expires March 31, 2009.