Past Posts

March 07, 2011

I don't like the Minnesota Science Museum.

Today Art and I had what we call 'special time', one on one time with a parent. We went to the science museum. I'm consistently a little disappointed with the place, probably cause most of the stuff is geared towards older kids. And I'm always surprised and turned off at how totally overpriced it is, even if you don't see their big exhibit (King Tut, which can cost $30 each for adults, $18 for 4-year-olds...really). A good amount of their exhibits are dusty and boring for children of any age, some of the hands on stuff is  overused and barely works and many other 'learning stations' just look like big video game-type machines they roll in, plug in and hope kids learn about gravity or centrifugal force or something. Lots of words and buttons that don't really do much and parents hovering over their kid trying to read the confusing instructions and get their money's worth.

You might be wondering, why would we go if I detest it so? For a single reason: Art loves to see the dinosaur bones. He's been with Jessica twice before and wanted to show me. He loves to see all the different ones, the huge flying quetzalcoatlus in the lobby, the massive triceratops, a bigass t-rex head and some others. But, to be entirely honest, they were scattered around the museum in an unfocused sort of way and the little write-ups about the dinosaurs were hard to find, lacked any sense of continuity and were ultimately not all that informative.

We tried watching a couple 'shows' at the stage they have there. It was a parade of well-intentioned science majors talking in an entertaining-style voice really fast to a group of confused disconnected kids. Both times we sat down to watch Art eventually wanted to leave. "It's too loud, Papa." In my view, kids don't need to be entertained by the delivery, it's just another layer of disconnect.

And, to top off my distaste, the Science Museum no longer participates in the metro-wide library program called Museum Adventure Pass. It's a great program that allow families to 'check out' passes to museums across the metro, making art and culture more accessible to everyone. Shame on you Science Museum!

Art looking through a big glass ball..

Art had the most fun and spent the most time building carbon molecules with foam blocks and pvc pipes nubs. No plugging in, no buttons.

1 comment:

Molly Guthrey said...

I just took my kids to the Children's Museum ... I thought my older ones, 8 1/2 and 7, might be getting too old for it, but they shut the place down! Their favorite part was the little town. "Why didn't we just stay here the whole time?" one parent said. "They have toy shopping carts and a toy kitchen." They even made a new friend and his mom and I exchanged info for a future play date. I had been to the science museum with my son's third-grade class a few days earlier and found that maybe they were a bit too young for it. They liked just running around and exploring, though.

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