Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Museum of Science and Discovery

Discovery, Science & Wonder

Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Science and Discovery is educational, entertaining and pure fun for families.

If you’re traveling with kids, the Museum of Science and Discovery in Fort Lauderdale should be at the top of your list (if you can tear them away from the beach, that is). Children and adults can become immersed in interactive exhibits about a wide range of topics from prehistoric animals and giant sharks to aerospace and aviation to water conservation and hurricane prediction. The common thread tying all of the exhibits together is that they are all relevant to life in Florida.

The impressive entrance to the museum displays the Great Gravity Clock, a 52-foot-tall kinetic energy sculpture that keeps the time as balls are released from the clock’s face onto tilted rails in increments of one minute, ten minutes and one hour. Take some time to take it all in and capture a few photos before heading inside.iStock_000074760653_Full

The 85,000 square foot building has two floors of interactive exhibits, as well as a 300-seat IMAX 3D theater. The first floor houses the EcoDiscovery Center, an expansion of the museum added in 2011. Here visitors can explore Florida EcoScapes which displays the various ecosystems of Florida, including live plants and animals, from the oceans to the everglades. Wander through the Florida Water Story, with interactive exhibits that explain the importance of water in the state and how it transforms from the aquafiers to the air to the sea. Watch the Otters at Play from an underwater viewpoint and from above.

The Prehistoric Florida exhibit features animals that roamed Florida (or swam in its oceans) many millions of years ago, such as the Archelon, the largest turtle that ever existed, a saber-toothed cat and an Imperial Mammoth. Kids can step into the dig pit to search for fossilized shark teeth and the gaping mouth of the megadolon, an extinct species of shark, makes for a great family photo.

Next, feel the wind in your hair in the Everglades Airboat Adventure simulator, and see how it fares against the winds of the hurricane simulator in the Storm Center exhibit. Learn more about some of the area’s most infamous hurricanes, and touch the vortex of a 10-foot tornado and record your own hurricane story. Next, visit the Go Green exhibit to learn about recycling and how to make your home more energy efficient for the good of the environment.

The second floor of the museum has a focus on science, health and technology, with a science theater for live programs, a permanent exhibit focusing on the amazing things the human body can do, and space for a rotating exhibit. The highlight of the second floor is To Fly, an aviation exhibit complete with the cockpits of several aircraft like a DC-9 commercial airliner and a Cessna 172, an air traffic control tower, a multi-sensory 7D theater capsule for a completely immersive experience and more.

After a couple of hours at the museum, stroll across the street to Esplanade Park and stroll the Tarpon River toward Bubier Park. In between the two parks, the Las Olas Riverfront area features waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment.

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