Saturday, July 16, 2011

New York Hall of Science (Queens): 111th St and 42nd Ave

If you have young kids, the New York Hall of Science in Queens is a fantastic place to visit with them. They have two floors and wide open outdoor space (not available in Manhattan) filled to the brim with fun interactive and educational things to do.  In addition to the almost innumerable interactive activities (some of which are listed below), there are also mini golf around a yard that includes space shuttle replicas! 

There are areas dedicated to illustrating natural networks, optical illusions, molecules, underwater life, sports physics (like reaction times for hitting the gas in a simulated auto race or the difference in bounce based on the firmness or softness of the floor/resistance -- see right), virtual arm wrestling, cow eye dissection demonstrations, rock climbing, tightrope walking (see below left), bungee jumping, a 4D simulator (like the ones at the Intrepid), scales that measures/estimates the amount of water or the number of molecules in your body, fun house mirrors, a pitching cage to show the difference in velocity when throwing different sized balls, and the list goes on and on.

It really is amazing how they thought of so many things to show and share.  I don't think I have ever seen such an aggregation of interactive educational things in my entire life.

The one thing I would caution if you are not coming as part of a school or camp group is that you may want to consider coming on a weekend when large groups may not be in attendance.  It is hard to control even a couple of youngsters so you can imagine what hoards of little ones might be like en masse.  I happened to visit on a weekday (mistakenly thinking that would be better than a weekend) and it was a bear trying to get around to see different things as children ran around in waves jumping in front of me at every turn.

In any event, if you get the chance to visit with a child (elementary school level would probably be best), it is certainly worth the $11 adult; $8 child cost of admission and it is conveniently located just 3 blocks from the #7 subway. Also make sure you leave a little time to check out the gift shop.  It has some unique geodes as well as some unusual gifts like astronaut ice cream -- much more unusual than the typical books and jewelry (which they have too).

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to let folks know that this weekend, September 17-18, 2011 is the second annual Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. I plan to go on one of these days. It seems like it will be a great event. Check out their website at for more details.