There are times when the boys and I want to see a bit of land, air and sea so we wander over to the Greensboro Science Center. After we paid for admission (Science Center only not additional activities like Skywild) we entered the building and tossed our entrance tokens into the charity of our choice. Then the adventure began with migrating to the sea side (Aquarium) of the center.
Using various lighting and enclosures the boys ran from viewing the fishing cat who paced endlessly to the fish, sharks, jellyfish, and penguins always ending up at their favorite pool of interest: the stingray petting pool. Reaching into the pool in the hope a stingray will swim close enough to be touched, the boys come perilously close to swimming with the rays as they leaned further and further over the pool to obtain that fleeting touch of something wild.
After cleaning up we started to go by the octopus into the section where jellyfish, sea horses and hermit crabs exist…but this time the comment comes out “This is boring.” Wow! Talk about a surprise. After going with the boys to this Science Center for years, this was the first time I ever heard either one make this comment! So Jeremiah (4-year old) wanted to continue into the watery world while the Isaiah (7-year old) wanted to migrate to the land area. With a quick peek at the jellyfish we turned around and exited the Aquarium and I founnd out why the sea journey became boring as the boys led me (aka ran) to the dinosaur exhibit.
Now I would like to say that the dinosaur statues and the individual video exhibits were what attracted the boys but I would be lying. The real reason for their excitement was (and is) the projected overlay of dinosaurs walking through the room with a video feed of the kids on the exhibit floor. Here they can imagine walking, fighting and chasing imaginary dinosaurs around the room. They eventually lay down on the floor and experienced the dinosaurs walking around them (or over them) and were content to just watch as the ‘story’ progresses.
Eventually we did leave the dino room and this day skipped the kids area where there are a variety of tactile things to do and see and went downstairs to exit the building. Enter the land and air part of the Greensboro Science Center. Starting with a dinosaur statue we followed peacocks that wander through the area, watched the antics of the meerkats, marveled at the size of the tortoises, heard the birds, observed the swinging time the lemurs and monkeys were having, caught a glimpse of a pacing fossa on our way to the Tiger and Maned Wolf enclosures. With the absence of the Tiger we had a chance to see the Maned Wolf and caught a moment of motherhood as the wolf’s youngster came out to check on her. If you do this part of the Science Center make sure to bring water…the sun tends to warm everyone up.
As we walked from the monkeys to the Tiger/Maned Wolf area, I did skip describing a part which has intrigued Isaiah, our almost 8-year old, each time we visit: SkyWild. This is a high ropes course guests can use for an additional fee. From stairs to ziplines to walks across the open air on various obstacles, this looks like a lot of fun and challenging but along with that comes a bit pricey admission fee. Perhaps this is something for a birthday gift? We’ll see…
Getting too hot we went back into the building and visited some additional rooms on the lower floor then back upstairs to the Color Maze. After experiencing the various color-based activities, the boys wrestled on the floor a bit (they are boy, right?) before we bode a fond adieu to the Science Center and headed back towards home.
You can find a typical map that lays out the center and its activities at https://www.greensboroscience.org/documents/gsc%20map%20fall%20&%20winter%202018.pdf though this link may change with newer activities (go to main website and search for “map”). Membership can be purchased or if you have another Science Center, Children’s Museum or Zoo membership you can enter at a discounted rate. Tips for visiting? Take your time. Let the kids explore and follow them around enjoying the youthful exuberance of discovery and play. Bring a light snack or lunch and drinks with you or expect to visit the Meerkat Café where prices are reasonable for this type of establishment. If you are planning on going outside to see the animals or experience the petting area, you may want to do that before temperatures rise too much then go back inside to cool down. On this trip we did not visit the Discovery House, which is in the Zoo section of the Center, but it is also worth a visit.
At the Center you (and those you bring) can expect to view sea and land creatures, bugs and snakes, lizards and birds. The Adventure Theater has two shows that are entertaining and the staff does a good job of keeping things moving to hold the interest of younger kids…older kids may not be interested in it after seeing it one time.
Take pictures. Have the kids pose by the critters or pretend they are the prey of the raptors in the dinosaur exhibit. And if you want to stroll through the whole thing, including a break for a meal or snack, plan on spending 2-4 hours…this is where discount tickets come into play – you won’t mind leaving earlier and coming back another day. The admission ticket stub will allow you to leave and come back later in the day (I believe but have never tried this…when we leave, we leave).
Oh and as a warning…like all other Children Museums and Science Centers this is a popular place for school field trips. During the school year you can expect two or more bus loads of kids to be present. If you like a bit more quiet time and less chaos, check it out after 2pm, outside of the school year, or perhaps on weekends.Side note: The Greensboro Country Park is right next door. If the “kids” are not too tired there are walkways, a couple of lakes and playground to round out a full day adventure…
Adventuring at the Greensboro Science Center.