Rochester Museum & Science Center provided admission in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the RMSC or any of their partners.
If there’s one place we haven’t spent enough time while we’ve lived in Western New York, it’s Rochester. The opportunity came up to visit the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and I knew it would be the perfect excuse to drive out to Rochester. My science-loving kids were pretty excited to check out a new museum, too.
The museum features three floors of interactive exhibits, a cafe, shop, and the Strasenburgh Planetarium is located right next door. We spent an entire day at the museum (we cut it a couple of hours short because of an impending snowstorm) and didn’t get to hit every exhibit. It’s definitely a place you can visit more than once and still find discover something new each time. It would be impossible to show you all of the things we loved about the RMSC, but here are our top five experiences.
1. Frogs: A Chorus of Colors:
This is a temporary exhibit (extended through April 10, 2016), housed on the top floor of the museum. As you probably guessed, the exhibit focuses on different species of frogs, all of which can be observed close-up.
There are interactive games, including a virtual dissection (it was fun telling my kids how we dissected real frogs in science class in high school.) You can print a frog finder worksheet ahead of time and download a fun coloring sheet including a coupon good for your visit.
2. Illumination: The World of Light and Optics:
I could have spent a lot more time in this room. It was fairly crowded, but we were able to try out all of the different light and optics experiments with just a small wait. It’s lasers, people. How can you not enjoy lasers?
3. How Things Work:
This hands-on exhibit teaches kids about the science of how everyday items work. How do stoplights change colors? How do mufflers change the sound from a car engine? How do keys open locks?
Each station is clearly explained and gives guests the chance to test out theories. There are plenty of stations, so there’s little to no wait for each experience.
4. KEVA Planks:
KEVA Planks are small wooden planks you can use to build all types of amazing creations. We spent quite a bit of time building, including the adults. It was a nice break during our visit and we all enjoyed sitting down and spending some zen time building. KEVA Planks are available for purchase in the shop, or you can order them online from Amazon and other retailers.
5. Inventor Center:
The Inventor Center was hands-down our favorite part of our trip. The Inventor Center lets kids get hands-on and design and test their own ideas. We were tasked with creating a weather balloon which would stay afloat in a storm. There were plenty of tables available with all sorts of materials to create our protoypes. We used paper bags, cups, string, paper clips, paper, tape, and anything else we could find.
After you finished your prototype, you could test it in an air tube then make improvements to see if you could get it just right. We all had a blast trying out our ideas (I may be biased because I was the first one to make a successful prototype.)
We’re looking forward to visiting the Rochester Museum & Science Center again to visit our five favorite exhibits. We’re also planning on adding a stop at the Planetarium.
You can find RMSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The museum is open seven days a week, including most holidays. Admission starts at $13 for adults and $11 for children. Additional costs apply for simulator rides and the Planetarium.