I have recently become a great fan of museums and indoor activities for my little guy. Lets face it, sometimes the Florida heat can really be blistering! This weekend the family and I packed up and headed to Jacksonville to visit MOSH Jacksonville, the Museum of Arts and Science located in the heart of down town Jacksonville. It also started pouring right as we were about to go inside, so it actually was a great rainy day family friendly, indoor activity as well.
Right from the start we knew MOSH Jacksonville was special!
As soon as we entered we were greeted by a whimsical entry way through one of their permanent exhibits. Focusing on the human body, while visiting The Body Within exhibit, we were able to discover new things about quite a few of the body’s systems and organs. We were able to checkout a few videos of actual surgeries being performed (don’t worry nothing too bad or disturbing for the little eyes) and checkout a few of the hands on exhibits. A few of the younger ones were even trying their hand at a Davinci surgical robot simulation!
Because of the time, we actually just jumped straight to the Extreme Science show at MOSH Jacksonville presented by JEA. More than just a commercial from the local power company, this show was a great interactive science demonstration that discussed multiple scientific topics. The audience participation was great, and we were able to see a handful of really cool science demonstrations. I believe the show is constantly changing and the venue seems to be perfect for that sort of thing. I can only imagine all the neat things they can accomplish with such a decked out stage. Unfortunately our little guy became quite fussy, so instead of ruining the show for everyone else, we decided to check out some of the other exhibits.
We decided to check out the rest of MOSH Jacksonville from the top down. Starting on the third floor, there was a great exhibit about unique local architecture. Because of the age of our little guy and the fact we were trying to get him to stop screaming, we really didn’t get to check out much of this exhibit. What I can tell you, as I was trying to hush my little guy, is that there were great local examples of some really awesome architecture. MOSH Jacksonville has made a good point to really showcase many of the unique homes, and buildings of Jacksonville’s past present, and even a few in the future! This particular MOSH Jacksonville exhibit is probably best enjoyed by young adults or adults. My toddler didn’t find it interesting, but then again it was more of an intellectual exhibit. We hope to return when he is either older, or we can take a day trip without little guy.
Be The Dinosaur – Life in The Cretaceous
One exhibit we were all excited about the the Life in the Cretaceous exhibit. You actually get to become a dinosaur! This exhibit consisted of a handful of unique arcade game style workstations. The controls were joystick oriented, with a few action buttons on the left. This is a great exhibit in concept, and seemed pretty straight forward. As a dinosaur, you had to travel in with other dinosaurs, eat, and according to the instructions even do battle with other dinosaurs from time to time! There were just as many adults enjoying the interactive simulations as there were smaller ones. This particular exhibit is a travelling exhibit, so be sure to check it out at MOSH Jacksonville while you can!
In addition, to the Be The Dinosaur exhibit, MOSH Jacksonville also features the largest single lens planetarium in the world! As if that wasn’t enough, they also feature a a 60 foot dome that hovers over the audience. and a brand new super high tech projector that delvers super high resolution images. Shows add about $5 to your admission ticket but are well worth it. There are multiple show daily including documentaries, children’s shows, as well as laser concerts. Seating is limited, so I encourage you to purchase your tickets online in advance. A current list of available shows and times can be found here.
On the other side of the second floor, you’ll find the Currents of Time exhibit. When you visit MOSH Jacksonville, do yourself a favor and check out this exhibit! Included again in your daily admission, this exhibit spotlights local history starting from the local Indian population to current day events. We actually did something different, and went backwards through time. We enjoyed the exhibit the same same, but when we visit again, we will start at the beginning. Since we aren’t locals, we found the history of Jacksonville to be very interesting and informative. I personally found the vintage voting booth to be one of the highlights. I have never experienced anything quite so amazing and confusing looking at the same time. It’s a far cry from the scan-tron ballots that I’m used to.
MOSH Jacksonville Is Like a Mini-Zoo!
Ok so maybe mini zoo is pushing it, but MOSH jacksonville has some great animal oriented attractions! In addition to the animals, Water Worlds offers quite a few of our aquatic friends from Florida. Focusing on local aquatic animal populations, this exhibit will introduce you and your family to many local fish varieties, and even a few non-native varieties! Continuing on to the Florida Naturalist’s Center, you’ll get a chance to meet many local species of birds, reptiles, and many more varieties of local animals. My little guy was lucky enough to visit during a curator talk and had a chance to actually pet a baby alligator! There wasn’t a single kid that seemed bored at the animal exhibits! Outside, you’ll be pleased to find a courtyard with a few outdoor animal exhibits, and provides a great change of pace. In addition, when you come back inside the air conditioning feels amazing!
On our way out, you’ll be pleased to find the obligatory museum gift shop. The prices were reasonable, and don’t worry, you’ll be pleased to know that they have an ample supply of Astronaut Ice Cream. This is also the only place located inside MOSH that you can actually purchase candy. It’s important to know that there is no snack bar at this location, and you should probably feed the family before you head into MOSH Jacksonville. If you get a case of the munchies, you will find a variety of soda machines, and again something that we found unique: a healthy snack machine! You’ll find a selection of healthy treats that will satisfy the entire family.
Right before we left, we discovered a young children’s play area. my little guy got a kick out of the tree house themed setup. It wasn’t a huge area, but it’s designed specifically for children under 5 years old. The entire museum is designed to stimulate one’s imagination regardless of age, but after visiting, my family thought that ages 3 and up would get the most out of their visit. Overall we found MOST to be a great family value, and will certainly return when our little guy isn’t quite so little. There are quite a few events planned in the near future, and seem to constantly be changing. This is a location you can visit time and time again. My suggestion would be to befriend them on Facebook to get the best possible deals. For example, they run spontaneous discount days that can save you quite a bit of cash.
MOSH Jacksonville – Museum of Science & History Details:
1025 Museum Circle
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm
Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm – 5pm
$8 Children 3-12 / Active Military / Seniors
Add $5 per ticket for one planetarium program.