- Rated 4 stars
4 / 5 (1 Reviewers)
Summary: I would definitely recommend this kids' science museum. Plenty of exhibits for kids of all ages to engage with. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for. It made for a great afternoon out as a family!
We arrived at Exploration Place for the simple reason that, of their “Museums On The River” (including a living history museum, art gallery, and more), it was the best option that was open on Veteran’s Day when we were passing through. We were on a fairly tight schedule and spent less than 2 hours there (and the frigid weather didn’t permit us to try mini golf or anything else outdoors) but during that time there was never a dull moment; on the whole, we and our kids (up to 8 years old) enjoyed the experience while leaving with the sense that there was more to see than what we’d had time to experience.
Of their exhibits, we visited:
- Where Kids Rule
This was a huge hit. The castle area is three stories tall, build with lots of winding passageways and corridors against a curved wall, with all kinds of hands-on things for the kids to try. A miniature catapult, musical instruments from the Middle Ages, fun-house mirrors, gears/pulleys experiments, and a lot more. Some additional play areas surround the castle at ground level, and our kids loved all the time they spent in this area.
- Kansas in Miniature
A huge (probably 20’x30′) diorama of Kansas, made to miniature scale to match a model train encircling the exhibit. Although there are a few moving parts and buttons to press, it was not especially interactive, and it did not hold the kids’ attention very long. It was very detailed and we adults found it more interesting than they did.
- Exploring Flight & Design
This primary exhibit features a huge wall taken up by tiny metallic discs suspended to make a huge grid, which shows ripples in air currents as large fans, with controls exposed for kids to experiment with, move air around the room. It makes for a really stunning large-scale display and was unlike anything else we’ve ever seen at a science museum. It’s surrounded by quite a few other flight-related exhibits which were nearly all computer-driven simulations and interactions, which we were less interested in.
We’d never seen Keva Planks before, and I expected our kids (diehard fans of building with Legos/Duplos) to be more interested in the large (3-6 foot tall) creations, but they brushed by without being drawn to it at all.
- Big Mouth
This is placed near the entranceway and features a huge, anatomically correct replica of the human mouth. The kids were drawn to it at first, but lost interest in its computer-driven presentation and were more attracted to the simple hands-on puzzles (magnets, building challenges with simple nails, dowels, and other miscellaneous pieces) placed nearby.
- Eww! What’s eating you?
This exhibit featured details about tapeworms, ticks, lice, mosquitos, and other parasites, and was, frankly, quite disgusting and sufficiently eerie to make us uncomfortable about allowing our smaller kids to even wander around it. I’m pleased to see it’s a “traveling” exhibit — hopefully it will travel somewhere else soon.