May 11, 2015

Why Science Museums Like MOSI Are Fun For Adults

One thing I’m beginning to learn when traveling with kids is that a science center is similar to a children’s museum, only with things adults can play with, too.

Case in point: Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry, MOSI for short.

We brought the kids here while visiting Tampa Bay – and while our visit was shortened due to it falling smack in the middle of one kid’s nap time – I’m using our visit to make an unscientific and untested point that science museums are really just huge children’s museums for grownups.

Which is to say, they’re a lot of fun.

 

Science Museums Are Just Big Children’s Museums For Adults Because…

 

1. The exhibits are interactive

Children’s museums are all about hands-on activities and it turns out, so is MOSI. But they’re not kid-sized, so you don’t feel silly interacting with any of it.

The permanent exhibitions, the giant IMAX dome theater, the planetarium, the flight simulator and the bike on a wire thingy are all stuff adults can enjoy shamelessly without kid in tow.

Yeah, you can can a bike on a cable 30 feet in the air  at MOSI. When we were there, I only saw adults riding this bike though. See? I told you this place is fun for adults.  Photo courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

Yeah, you can can a bike on a cable 30 feet in the air at MOSI. When we were there, I only saw adults riding this bike though. See? I told you this place is fun for adults. Photo courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

And then there’s this: The ropes course and zip line.

With an outdoor setting like this, it's nto so easy getting your kids to go back inside MOSI. Photo courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

With an outdoor setting like this, it’s nto so easy getting your kids to go back inside MOSI. Photo courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

My 3- and 5-year-old were not old enough or tall enough to do it, so we skipped it.

If we didn’t have the short ones with it, you bet both Mr. Wonderful and I would’ve been in line faster than you can fasten your superhero cape.

However, the Kids in Charge! area?

Do not go there without a kid.

That would be awkward.

The Kids in Charge building at MOSI has activities perfectly suited for toddlers, preschoolers and grade schoolers.

The Kids in Charge building at MOSI has activities perfectly suited for toddlers, preschoolers and grade schoolers. My 3- and 5-year-olds really loved this area.

Same goes for the outdoor playground.

With kids only, please.

 

2. You learn stuff through play

We all probably should remember facts about weather.

Mr. Wonderful and Farley see how much they can handle in the hurricane simulator.

Mr. Wonderful and Farley see how much they can handle in the hurricane simulator.

And elementary physics.

And dinosaurs.

And natural disasters.

Mr. Wonderful attempting to explain how earthquakes happen, right before the room started shaking on us at MOSI.

Mr. Wonderful attempting to explain how earthquakes happen, right before the floor started shifting on us in the earthquake simulation room at MOSI.

But we don’t remember any of that stuff.

Visiting a science museum makes relearning it fun.

And, if you’re visiting with kids, it’s fun relearning teaching it to your kids, especially when both of you have that aha! moment at the same time.

 

A few things about our visit

MOSI head titled

We only saw a fraction of MOSI while we were there – you’ll want to factor in several hours for your visit, not two. MOSI recommends a minimum of four hours.

Kids in Charge! is great for elementary-aged kid and younger. They get the most out of the exhibits in that building. That’s not to say you can’t take them around the main building. They’ll like it too, but the STEM concepts may be harder to absorb. They’ll have fun, regardless, so don’t skip it just because you have a preschooler.

 

If you go

Where: 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa


When: Open daily, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ropes course and zip line are open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Website

Disclaimer: I received complimentary admission to MOSI in exchange for writing about my family’s experience there. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thinking of flying your family to Tampa? Check out my sample two-day itinerary for Tampa Bay! We crammed a lot in, which I actually wouldn’t suggest. Mix and match my recommended places to see:

The Florida Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Morean Arts Center and Hot Shop

Columbia Restaurant

 

I also wrote about the Allegiant Air direct flight from Omaha to the Tampa Bay area, so check that out, plus if you need a hotel suggestion and you L-O-V-E food and pampering, read my post about Epicurean Hotel in the beautiful Hyde Park area of Tampa.

 

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