Wandering through the halls of any science museum is a unique and enriching experience that everyone should have at least once in their lives. Whether you are being met with the skeleton of a real Dinosaur or the wonders of the heavens through a giant telescope, you will always find something that inspires awe and wonder.
Most people don’t consider exploring a science museum as part of their next vacation, but they are missing out. In fact, I can think of a few reasons why they should add visiting a Science Museum to their plans.
3 Reasons Why You Should Explore a Science Museum on Your Next Vacation:
1 - Science museums allow us to interact with our world in a new way.
Science museums provide immersive and interactive opportunities to discover, learn, and wonder about the beauty of nature and the Universe. Stepping into an awe-inspiring exhibit will engage your curious mind and allow you to discover something new.
2 - Science museums help us access parts of our world you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
Have you ever wondered about what existed on Earth before us? Or found yourself curious about life in the rainforest, the arctic, or the ocean floor? Have you ever stared up at the night sky, dreaming of what could be out there?
You might not be able to explore those curiosities in your day-to-day life, but in a science museum, you can.
3 - Science museums stimulate our minds.
From the moment you step into a science museum, you will feel inspired! You will feel inspired to ask questions, explore new ideas, and learn about different worlds. The immersive, interactive, and elaborate exhibits have a way of capturing the curiosity and imagination inside everyone, no matter their age.
6 Popular Science Museums to Check Out
1 - The Museum of Science - Boston, Massachusetts
“Explore. Question. Imagine” that is what the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts, invites all of its guests to do. Through their various immersive and engaging exhibits, you can explore the Arctic, witness full-scale dinosaur fossils, and discover how engineers approach problem-solving and design. Their IMAX Dome hosts an immersive experience where you learn about the climate history of Earth’s ancient caves, and the Hall of Human Life allows you to explore the human body through more than 70 interactive components.
Admission: Tickets range from $24-29
Planetarium shows, Omni films, and 4-D films are an additional price.
Hours of Operation: Sat - Thur 9:00am - 5:00pm, Friday 9:00am - 9:00pm
2 - Harvard Museum of Natural History - Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Harvard Museum of Natural History sets out to help the public engage with the natural world and discover humanity’s place within it. Through their free public programs and lectures from Harvard faculty and guest scientists, you can enhance your understanding and appreciation for nature and science. Roaming through their halls will reveal unique displays and exhibits that showcase the beauty of our planet.
If you go, don’t neglect the Great Mammal Hall, one of the most dynamic galleries in the museum!
Admission: $10-15 with exceptions
Hours of Operation: Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
3 - Smithsonian - Washington D.C.
The Smithsonian is home to 21 museums and the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Their Museum of Natural History hosts the world’s largest natural history specimens and human artifacts collection. Learn about Ancient Egypt, minerals and gems, and incredible creatures from all corners of the Earth. You will find your breath taken away by their stunning exhibits!
Hours of Operation: Daily 10:00am - 5:30 pm
4 - Griffith Observatory - Los Angeles, California.
If you are fascinated with all things sky and space, visiting the Griffith Observatory should be on your bucket list! Ever since it opened its door in 1935, it has become the most-visited public observatory in the world. The Zeiss and Solar telescopes are open to the public, allowing all guests to become true scientific observers. Expand your mind and imagination by exploring the wonders of our skies!
Hours of Operation: Tue-Fri 12:00pm - 10:00pm, Weekends 10:00am - 10:00pm.
Closed on Mondays. Check their telescope calendar before visiting.
5 - Exploratorium - San Francisco, California
Unlike the other museums on the list, the Exploratorium is an entirely interactive experience! “Tinker, touch, text, experiment, notice, play!” With more than 600 interactive exhibits in 6 spacious indoor and outdoor galleries, that is what they encourage all guests to do. You can spend your day engaging with the wonders of engineering and science. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 yrs old or 50 yrs old, you will find your mind stimulated and your body engaged in non-stop learning and discovery.
Ps. On Thursdays, they host fun after-dark events for adults over 18!
*ask about teacher discounts and special group rates*
Hours of Operation: Tue-Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sun 12:00pm - 5:00pm.
Closed on Mondays.
6 - California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco, California
At the heart of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, you will find the home of four discovery exhibits that will inspire wonder and curiosity in young and old.
In their interactive aquarium, you can explore the underwater and terrestrial habitats of over 900 unique species. If animals are what you love, you can explore more than 1600 live plants and animals in their four-story lush rainforest exhibit. In their 75-foot dome planetarium, you can immerse yourself in the celestial skies through their hyper-realistic virtual environments. Finally, their Natural History Museum features hands-on exhibits that peek into the latest research on past, present, and future life on Earth.
Admission: $35.75 - 38.25
*Ask about their VIP Tours, and Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 9:30am - 5:00pm, Sun 11:00am - 5:00pm
When planning your next trip…
If you are looking for an all-day activity to stimulate your mind and engage your curiosity, consider stepping into a science museum. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone or with your family; taking a stroll through the halls of a Science Museum will leave you with a fresh perspective on the world.
Will you be adding visiting a science museum to your travel itinerary? If so, which one do you want to explore? Let us know in the comments!
Ps. If you know of other great science museums we did not mention, don’t hesitate to share the details below!