daytona beach museum of arts and science moas giant slothYes I Took A Day Off From Work! While it took a bit of explaining with the wife, I actually took a day off form work to take my little guy to the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science awhile back. Ok well I actually didn’t take a day off, as I had some overtime to use up from that week, but the Mrs. was still rather confused. For me the logic was simple really. Every first Tuesday of the month, museum of arts and science admission is free for all Volusia County residents!

I actually planned on taking little man by my self, but since the Mrs. was off, as she wanted to come along. I didn’t plan it this way but it worked out well. We got up early, packed for our adventure and off we went! Since he is only about 8 months old I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, bring a baby to a museum could have been a disaster, but luckily they had a children’s museum wing to help distract him!

Lots of Stuff To Check Out at the Museum of Arts and Science!

a beach musem of arts and science moas laser harpThe only other time we have been to Museum of Arts and Science was when we checked out the laser light rock concert at the planetarium (which was totally awesome by the way). So we were looking forward to find out about some local culture. Since little guy was in a great mood that morning, we didn’t immediately head to the children’s wing. Instead we checked out the Root Family section. I had no idea that our local area had so much to do with the Coca Cola industry! It turns out the Root family are the ones to thank for creating the old school Coke bottles. There were tons of Coke vending machines on display as well as some vintage bottling equipment. Spanning three generations of Roots, they were even influential in the budding racing scene which became NASCAR.

I have been to a few museums in my lifetime, but had to admit that the collection at the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science was a bit odd in the sense that they seemed to cover a wide variety of interests. For example, they also had a large teddy bear collection, as well as two rail road cars from the great days of rail travel. We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t go through the rail cars, but was told that they do open them up to the public on occasion. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a full scale recreation of a vintage pharmacy and apothecary.

More Than Just Coke Bottles At The Museum of Arts And Science!

After venturing out of the Root family collection, there were tons of other rooms and areas to explore. In addition to a small room title the Armory where multiple weapons were on display, there was also a section dedicated to Chinese art, Cuban Art, and even a few rooms that are dedicated to traveling exhibits. A small section was dedicated specifically to the local space program with a few NASA items on loan from the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex as well as room dedicated to European artwork and furniture as well as some jewelry pieces and glass art works. We considered this great variety to be an asset to the Museum of Art and Science.

Once we got to this point, little man started getting fussy, and believe me you could hear his screaming throughout the place! We quickly checked out the gigantic sloth and while the Mrs. was changing him up I took a look at their storage section. It sounds strange, but they have a section dedicated to visible storage that you can check out. This is where many of their items are stored in inventory. You get to see all sorts of items, but unlike pieces in the main collections, aren’t labeled so you get to use your imagination!

They have a Children’s Museum at the Museum of Arts And Science!

a beach musem of arts and science moas hands on childrens museumWith the exception of the giant sloth, this is one of the only areas throughout the place that you can actually take pictures. While it’s certainly not as big as the Orlando Science Center, we were quite impressed at the amount of hands on activities for the little ones. I hope during their upcoming expansion the Museum of Arts and Science expands this area.

Right off the bat, we checked out their early learning center, which wasn’t very impressive,  but did offer a small crawling tunnel, and and handful of assorted commercially available toys for the very young ones to play with. Our little one even made a new friend so it wasn’t so bad.

In the main children’s section there were quite a few exhibits including a section where kids can get hands on and run their own pretend pizzeria, as well as see how to run a doctor’s office. There were a few interesting hands on displays centering on the space program as well as a section dedicated to construction and building tools.

In the main exhibit hall kids could learn about everything from electronics, to building their own toy race cars. I won’t spoil all the fun and excitement of every exhibit, but there are plenty of things for little ones to touch, play with, and learn about.

One thing that really stands out in my mind is that the vast majority of the exhibits in the children’s area were actually built by volunteers. I have no idea if they came up with the exhibit ideas or the Museum of Arts and Science did, but there were quite a few displays that were creatively inexpensive but had real learning value.

Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science Specifics:

352 S. Nova Road
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
(386) 255-0285

Free admission for Volusia County Residents every 1st Tuesday of the month.

Adults: $12.95
Kids 7 and Up $6.95

Overall Impressions of the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science:

I was really quite impressed by the museum of Arts and Science! I have driven passed their location, probably a few hundred times in my day to day routine. Had I not researched to find out what day admission was free, I probably would have missed out on a great family experience. I’m glad we went as a family and we all seemed to enjoy ourselves. We spent about three hours total at MOAS, but with a baby in tow, that’s really quite a long time to keep him quiet and entertained. I found the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Science to have a vast variety of items and artwork that would suit quite a few interests. The children’s museum was a fun diversion, and while the early learning center could use an expansion and some attention, the rest of the children’s wing was quite amazing. Although all kids are different, I think that the kid’s museum in particular would be better suited for kiddos ages 4 and up. In addition to a great family outing, I think this would make a great date spot and a rainy day location since it’s pretty much all indoors. We plan on returning when our little one gets older so he can really enjoy the hands on exhibits.