WHERE: 2 Booker Street, Spotswood VIC
OPENING TIMES: 10am to 4:30pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day)
Scienceworks is by no means a “hidden gem” but it sure is a gem of a place and with the winter months upon us what a great way to be entertained away from the elements.
We visited a few weeks go now on a Saturday and arrived just before 11am. We found plenty of parking within the Scienceworks carpark with a $4 parking fee which goes to support the ongoing exhibitions, collections and research activities at Museum Victoria. Entry for children is free (up to 16 years) and adult tickets are $14 each, so I think it works out to be a very reasonable priced family activity.
The first exhibition as you walk into the museum is the ‘Think ahead’ exhibition and compares our past and present cities, food, technology, transport, medicine, space travel and speculates on what our future holds in relation to them. There are so many different interactive activities pushing buttons, touch screens, upgrade motion capture videos, which makes it perfect for all ages.
Then there’s the ‘Sportsworks’ exhibitions where the kids can really burn off some energy. You can race against Cathy Freeman, play goalkeeper, and shred up some ice on the snowboarding simulator.
This exhibit explores all the science behind sport from the equipment to the human body and movement.
‘The Nitty Gritty Super City’ is a mini metropolis that’s big on fun and learning. Suited for 3 to 8 year olds this is the exhibition we spent the most time in.
We must have been in there for at least an hour as Elsie and Michael explored a recycling factory, roleplay cafe, recorded their own weather report, captained a ship, created a wall in the construction zone, discovered the city dwelling animals, and lit up the landmarks of Melbourne on lego mini replica…plus much more. Each exhibit includes wall panels with notes on the activities, but of course you can just let them discover at their own pace and desire.
We left just after 1pm and by then the carpark was becoming full and although the museum was filling up we still had plenty of room to move. So if you’re like me and prefer to avoid ques and crowds, from my experience, I recommend first thing in the morning on the weekend or as the museum suggests after school hours during the week.
Scienceworks, in addition to their daily exhibitions, also run shows in their lightning room and planetarium as well as workshop, activities and tours. Some of these incur an extra cost and/or require you to book ahead. There’s also a gift shop, cafe and a playground and picnic area just outside the main building.
Scienceworks has a fabulous website with all the things you’ll need to know for your visit click here for the details.