Boston Museum of Science, Boston MA

We've visited this museum several times, and keep discovering pockets that we missed before. This is a large museum with exhibits that will fascinate kids from 1 on up. The youngest visitors will probably spend lots of time in the Discovery Center. Though only a corner of this enormous building, it has two floors of preschool age activities: a vacuum tube, various building materials, a strong blower, a water table, a bee hive, animal costumes, live woodland animals and insects, animal bones, hiding spots... those are the elements I can reel off without even thinking about it. Not comprehensive - so you can get an idea of how much the Discovery Center offers. The exhibits in the rest of the museum are too numerous to count. An electricity show is free with admission and is exciting. I still remember the climax of the show from my childhood, when lightening is created right in front of your eyes. The last time I took my children there, my oldest, at 4, did not have the attention span for the show so we'll try again next time.
Parking is extremely convenient and usually costs us $11. The garage is attached to the museum itself so even in winter weather it works out great. There is a large cafe with tons of food choices and copious seating. We choose to bring our lunch and then supplement with buying a treat there. It's really expensive. The other huge advantage is that by bringing your own food you are skipping the whole line experience. There are often large school groups, and it is always crowded. Once the kids' tummies are full they are ready to go.
If you are a member of the Springfield Science Museum/Springfield Quadrangle, your admission is FREE. And you don't wait in line, just continue on to the turnstiles, show your membership card and you are in the museum. That's it. Through the Association of Science and Technical Museums, the Springfield membership will privilege you to free admission at the Boston Children's Museum, the Ecotarium, the Boston Science Museum, and many more museums in other states. We have been members for several years now- our annual fee would be paid for in visits to the Quadrangle alone, never mind the aforementioned additional places.

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