After quite a few trips to Orlando for various attractions, parks and events, we finally got to spend some time at the Orlando Science Center. This location will no doubt host many return trips for my family as my little guy gets older and our family grows. We were amazed at all the hands on displays and learning opportunities for this kiddos and adults alike.
First off, this is a great rainy day fun idea! If you can get your family in the car before it starts pouring you’re all set. Once you arrive you can park in the parking garage across the street from the Orlando Science Center and walk across a covered sky walk. Hurricane conditions? No problem! It’s all enclosed so you won’t feel a drop as you find your way inside. Parking was only $5, which beats parking for a day at a theme park. Our only complaint is that the parking spots are very narrow. We actually had a hard time getting out little guy out of our small SUV. I actually had to pip the hatch and hand him off to my wife behind the vehicle. If we had a large SUV or a truck, we would have been in some real trouble.
Driving up and parking we were a bit perplexed. When you pass by the Orlando Science Center, you don’t really get a feel for just how large it truly is. With four floors of fun there is something for everyone to enjoy! As you enter via the skywalk you will be directed to the box office for ticket purchase. We found the admission to be reasonably priced for a family of four. With each paid admission you also get a ticket to see a movie at the Dr. Phillips Cinedome located right in the Orlando Science Center. They have a large selection of IMAX type documentary movies that play throughout the day as well as at least one blockbuster hit. My family watched “Sea Monsters” while I hung out with our sleeping toddler. They all seemed to like the movie.
One of the reasons why the Orlando Science Center continues to draw a crowd is because they continue to change exhibits and have hosted quite a few traveling exhibits such as Star Wars and Bodies, which were both quite a successful showing. The traveling exhibits usually are an additional charge but are usually discounted for Orlando Science Center Members. We were pleased to find that the home exhibits cover a vast age range which makes the Orlando Science Center a perfect spot for dynamic families with different aged children. For example our little guy really liked the Clifford the big red dog exhibit where he was able to roam Clifford’s home town with interactive exhibits and immersive displays. There is also an entire section on the ground floor called Kid Town. This area is designed for children 7 and under and allows kids to explore a town just their size. My niece and nephew were a bit too old to play and my little guy is still too young, but we enjoyed the walk through. A friend of mine recently visited and her daughter loved it!
In addition to a very diverse offering of exhibits, I wanted to point out that your visit to the Orlando Science Center will be a very hands on experience! It seemed that almost every area had something to do, touch, or interact with. If your kids love to touch buttons, turn dials, and spin stuff, they won’t be disappointed. I believe that not only you and your little ones will enjoy the Orlando Science Center, but will also learn allot about all sorts of subjects from dinosaurs to magnetism! When we first arrived, my niece and nephew really enjoyed being able to dig up dinosaur bones and taking control of a remote-controlled dino. My niece and I were even able to experience what it felt like to be in hurricane force winds.
Remember when I said you really didn’t get a great idea of the scope of the Orlando Science Center just by driving by? Well I certainly think that is be design! Every inch of the Orlando Science center is used for a display or interaction. Take for example the ground floor. You’ll actually think you’re in a Florida swamp, minus the smell of course. Complete with alligators, they made great use of a space that might otherwise be left unused since it’s under stairwells and near the elevators. In the Kid Town section, your little ones can explore what it might be like under the streets in a major city or how tree roots grow. We thought it was pretty creative anyway.
If you’re looking for a great adult night, check their online calendar for Science Night LIVE! These adult oriented evenings feature, all sorts of unique fun with food, entertainment and even some adult beverages! This is a great opportunity to explore all the Orlando Science Center has to offer without the little ones. They often have different themes and are constantly refreshing their events. I didn’t realize (although I should have) that there is a telescope observatory that is open during these evenings so guests can get a really up close view of the stars! One evening when wee man stays with grandma, we are definitely taking a trip to Orlando! Just check out the video below to see what you’re missing.
What seems like a trend while visiting museums lately, I wanted to point out that the cafeteria at the Orlando Science Center has been replaced by a Subway restaurant! I’m a huge fan of Subway, not only because of their frugal dining options, but I generally consider them to be a healthier alternative to many of the burger joints that families are tempted to visit. This location also featured salads as well as pizzas. The Mrs. and I split a $5 foot long and the kids split a small pizza. We splurged and bought drinks, so it was a bit more costly than we were used accustomed to, but since we had our niece and nephew with us, it would have been worse had we stopped at a fast food alternative.
There is just so much to do and see at the Orlando Science Center that I can’t even write about it all! Not only do they offer a great quantity of exhibits, but the variety is impressive. It seems like there is something for every interest. This is one of the great Frugal Florida gems that every family really needs to know about. This is a learning experience that is not only extremely hands on, but constantly evolving. I generally scrutinize annual passes or memberships, but with so many Cinedome offerings, travelling exhibits, you may wish to consider purchasing a membership for you and your family. We are certainly planning on returning again and again.
Orlando Science Center Details:
Address: 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803
SENIOR – ages 55 and over
STUDENT (with ID)
YOUTH (ages 3 to 11)
TWO & UNDER
Florida Teachers FREE with school credentials!
Admission includes tickets for the Giant Screen Films and Digital Educational Films.
To pick up tickets to any of these shows just visit the Admisson Desk in the lobby on Level 2.
Senior Family Membership
Senior Couple Membership
Senior Individual Membership
|Look at what you’ll get!
Based on a family of 4 with family membership and free parking: 2
Orlando Science Center Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays except during Orange and Seminole County Public School Holidays.
Orlando Science Center is open on most major holidays except for:
Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.