Are you heading to Orlando, Florida? Whether you like to plan in advance or wing it as you go, be sure to make time for a visit to the Orlando Science center for an amazing child-centered time!
If you’ve been following along with our adventure, then you’ll know that I am not a fan of winter. Not. At. All. This year, I was feeling especially cooped up and was beyond done with the cold and snow, so we decided to take a getaway to Florida!
We got really lucky in that my family was able to coordinate their schedules and we all rented a house and had an amazing week together.
Since our household is made up of 2 adults and 3 kids, we determined that it would be a lot cheaper to drive down to Orlando, rather than fly. Fortunately, it really wasn’t that bad of a trip.
The rest of my family ended up flying down, so we ended up with an extra day of Florida sunshine before the rest arrived.
After a super loooong drive, I knew that the kids were going to be pretty squirrly. With the combination of sitting for hours on end and the excitement of a big family vacation, I knew they would need some solid entertainment that would let them move.
So, we made a stop at the Orlando Science Center our first day there and were pleasantly surprised.
The first place we stopped after we paid was the farm exhibit in kids’ town. There was so many sensory activities in a farm theme that the kids were immediately engaged.
They loved being able to “pick” apples and oranges and then transport them on the conveyor belt. Sophia had a blast just playing with the various types of produce toys and organizing them in different ways.
We probably spent close to an hour in this space and literally had to drag them out to explore more – the kids absolutely loved it!
Once we corralled the kids out of the farm area, we headed over to the exploration station.
The kids were absolutely thrilled to see a pipe system set up, where various scarfs are sucked through and shoot out at various angles. They were familiar with this station from watching many of Blippi’s Science Museum adventures and from our trip to the Bucks’ County Children’s Museum this past summer.
While Nathaniel had a great time chasing scarves, Sammy and Sophia were attracted to a cool light wall. Each of the knobs could be turned to turn the lights on or off. They had a great time changing patterns and exploring cause and effect.
As Sophia went to play with Nathaniel and the scarves, Sammy discovered the block area and had a blast carrying blocks back and forth from the storage area to the block pit! It was a great way for him to burn some energy!
Drip Drop Splash
After playing in the Explore It section, the kids were immediately drawn to the Drip Drop Splash area, which is a massive water table with lots of great toys to play with!
I appreciated the generous smocks that kept the kids dry, and Sammy loved the toddler seats that let him get right in the action!
Harriet’s KidsTown Theater
Right after the drip drop splash area, the Science Center has a big theater space. There’s a stage and lots of fun costumes for the kids to wear. Nathaniel wasn’t crazy about performing on stage, but loved pretending to be a dragon!
After we left Kids’ Town, we headed up to the Dino Digs area.
The kids immediately noticed the dig pit and without a second thought, ran right to them to start digging for bones!
The pit is quite large and has tools for the kids to unearth fossils with, along with adorable paleontologist costumes to make the experience more authentic!
We lucked out as we got to the Dino Digs area just before story time.
The person who read the story (a remake of Cat in the Hat, but all about dinosaurs), wore a classic Cat in the Hat hat, and was absolutely fabulous! She was enthusiastic, patient and was really engaging for the kids.
Once the story was done, she took some time to answer questions and let the kids touch some of the bones and even Tyrannosaurus Rex poop!
I am very fortunate in that my kids are quite curious and want to learn about just about everything. However, they do seem to have a particularly keen attraction to the planets and how things work on Earth.
As such, they absolutely loved the Our Planet exhibit – and Nathaniel was “blown away” by the hurricane simulator!
The two older kids spent a great deal of time developing their own land masses and exploring how water causes erosion in the large sand table (can’t quite remember what it’s called)!
From the Our Planet section, we moved down to the bottom floor to explore the Nature Works section and the live wildlife.
We made it just in time to watch an interactive live presentation about some of the animals on display and learnt about Florida’s natural wildlife. The show ended with the opportunity to pet a live baby alligator!
After the show finished, we explored the area and got to see various fish and reptiles. The kids especially enjoyed getting to pet a tortoise and a turtle!
There was seriously so much more to the Orlando Science Center that we didn’t even get time to explore. The facility is huge and has so much interactive and informative displays that it is a great place to visit on your next Florida vacation!
I dare say my kids enjoyed it more than our trip to Epcot!
We will definitely be heading back on our next trip to Florida!
Have you been to the Orlando Science Center? What are your must-dos there?