There is something magical about experiencing Science World with first-time visitors.
As a child, I remember feeling my excitement rise as the grey dome came into view, signaling a day of learning and sensory overload was about to begin. Over the years, I returned often to take in the engaging exhibits and theme-based Adult Nights, but it was my most recent trip that brought back a sense of childhood wonder.
Recently, I brought my 2.5-year-old and 6-month-old to Science World for the first time. With two small children, it was nice to be able to reserve tickets online and plan our arrival for a specific entry time. This eliminated wait time standing in line and allowed us to plan ahead for our arrival. While we waited for our reservation time, we played on the wooden playground outside and explored the outdoor TD Environmental Loop around the building and along False Creek. The experience outside was rich with learning and hands-on materials and demonstrated the impact of outdoor learning spaces.
Upon entering, it was hard to keep up with my daughter. She was enthralled with the Wonder Gallery, a space specifically designed with children under 5 in mind. The sensory tables, soft padding, and designated areas for little ones meant that even my 6-month-old could play and interact with the materials set out. We appreciated the bathrooms and quiet room for feeding that were within the Wonder Gallery, in addition to the stroller parking just outside and the limited entrance capacity for safety. The current exhibit is T-Rex: Ultimate Predator, and it was an engaging experience for all of us with moving animations and digital recreations of the T-Rex.
Science World is an attraction that never loses its appeal. It rotates exhibits often enough to provide excitement and novelty, whilst still maintaining some original feature spaces, such as the Eureka! Lab and the Sarah Stearn Gallery. We intended to stay about 2.5 hours before stopping for lunch, but we ended up spending closer to 3.5 hours and certainly would have lost track of time altogether if not for our rising hunger. Science World has a brilliant open space for families to eat just off the Eureka! gallery, with cafeteria-style tables and a station for handwashing and recycling. We opted to purchase our lunch from Triple O’s onsite but decided to eat outdoors at picnic tables. The Triple O’s take-out window is around the corner from the entrance to Science World, and it was a perfect spot to have lunch and watch the boats go by before heading home.
As my children get older, I know we will experience Science World in new ways. This is one of the few Vancouver attractions that I would consider a yearly family membership to, as the perks of an early entrance, invitations to exclusive events, and advanced registration for camps are worth the price. Science World’s continuously evolving galleries could certainly draw locals back every few months to see what is new, making the cost of membership justifiable for a family. We can’t wait to see what exhibit is next and look forward to more visits in the future!
Science World- T-Rex: The Ultimate Predator
Dates: On until January 2023
Where: Science World
Address: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver