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.
And then there’s this: The ropes course and zip line.
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.
Same goes for the outdoor playground.
With kids only, please.
2. You learn stuff through play
We all probably should remember facts about weather.
And elementary physics.
And natural disasters.
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
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.)
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:
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.