On a recent trip to West Palm Beach, my family decided to check out the South Florida Science Center & Aquarium, and we are so glad we did! We never miss the chance to see an aquarium, and from the minute we walked in we were entertained. There are daily events including talks in the aquarium, a science lab area complete with lab coats, coloring, and touch exhibits so my son had a lot of fun while learning at the same time.
We happened to visit during opening weekend of the newest exhibit, Astronaut, which was highly-anticipated by the community.
With hands-on attractions including games and a G-force human centrifuge, we stayed busy! In this exhibit, you can experience how it feels to “sleep” standing up, learn how astronauts work out and eat in space, and play various games that help you learn what it feels like in a zero gravity atmosphere.
The 10,000-gallon Aquariums of the Atlantic house has some of Florida’s most beautiful native fish, like queen angels, lookdowns, moray eels, stingrays and seahorses. It’s also home to fish that have invaded Florida’s coasts. Visitors can explore coral reefs, as well as our state’s varied ecosystems (the Everglades, Coral Reefs, Gulf Stream, and the Open Ocean). Touch tank demonstrations are held at 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. and you don’t want to miss those! You can see live feedings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 1:00 p.m.
The Florida Conservation Station is a lab where guests can conduct hands-on experiments and become real-life biologists. It gives visitors a look into the complex relationships among living things. Other hands-on exhibits teach participants about states of matter and electricity.
From there, head to Science on a Sphere, a room-sized global display system that projects planetary data onto a six-foot diameter sphere, transforming it into an animated globe. Needless to say, it’s pretty cool to see! Researchers at NOAA actually developed it! See atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperatures displayed on the sphere. After that, check out the center’s collection of real rocks from outer space. Kids will get a kick out of being able to touch a 232-pound meteorite!
If you’ve got little ones, take them to the Discovery Center and Early Childhood Playground. Here, kids 6 and under can play at a giant 16 x 5-foot water table, use a wall-sized Lite Brite, enjoy a story time area with bookshelves, a dress-up area with a photo booth, and run out some energy at the outdoor playground.
Before you go, explore the interactive nature trail and participate in “bubbleology,” a fossil dig, whisper dishes, and a brand-new 18-hole miniature golf course.
This award-winning facility has been serving the community for nearly 60 years, and it’s easy to see how they’ve been able to keep operating. Offering school programs, STEM nights, a robotics team, and coding classes the South Florida Science Center is more valuable than ever! And they’re constantly providing fun activities for the whole family to get involved in, like a tech clubs, science sleepovers, science camps, and early learning programs.
Admission is $17 for adults, $13 for kids 3 through 12, and $15 for seniors. Planetarium shows and mini-golf cost extra. Memberships come with lots of perks (and start as low as $20 for teachers). The center is open from 9:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. on the weekends.
Visiting West Palm Beach? Here’s my full list of what to do!
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