We were so excited to get an invite to the local, South Florida Science Center a couple weeks ago. If you saw my Instagram stories, you were able to experience some of the fun with us!

I do need to mention that we probably didn’t chose the best day to attend. We arrived on a Tuesday morning, along with bus loads of school children coming for an end-of-the-year field trip. Literally, the front-desk person told us there were about 600 kids coming that morning. She offered to have us come back later, but because I had already packed up my three little ones, and they were so excited, we braved the masses. And, it didn’t turn out to be much of an issue at all! I can happily say that if you go there on a super busy day, and you have little children, you can still navigate through and experience everything. I am also fairly confident you won’t arrive on a jam-packed day. You can also always call prior to coming, to see if there are any special field-trips, so you know if you’ll have a quieter experience. I feel the need to mention that because in my stories, the place looked loud and swamped with kids, but that is not the norm for a Tuesday morning experience. 

When you first arrive, on your left is a tank of big fish and small sharks. That was super exciting! My boys wanted to see the fish and sharks right away, but because there were so many visitors, we headed straight to the small-children area. I tell you, we could have stayed in that place ALL DAY. The water trough, play thing. This room is called the.

 

Discovery Center and Early Childhood Playground Powered by PNC Grow Up Great

Children 6 years old and younger can play and discovery in their very own space!  The Center’s features include a giant 16 x 5-foot water table, a wall-sized Lite Brite play area, lounge area for parents, story time area with bookshelves, a dress-up area with photo booth, BRAND NEW outdoor playground and more.
The water table was a HUGE hit, and I mean like an hour of full on attentive play. They couldn’t get enough of it. 
I had to coax the boys to leave the Early Childhood Playground by telling them the Sharks were going to bed soon, and we wanted to see them before they went to sleep. We walked across the hall to the Aquariums of the Atlantic, where there are so many amazing sea creatures! Here are the specific details on what we saw. It was magical, and we went round and round to see everything multiple times!
The Science Center’s new 3,000 square foot Aquariums of the Atlantic house some of Florida’s most beautiful native fish such as Queen angels, sharks, eels, stingrays and seahorses as well as some fish that have invaded Florida’s habitats. The new aquariums take visitors through artificial reefs, open ocean, and environments of the everglades. As you walk into the aquarium the largest exhibit is our Shipwreck Cove, a 3,500 gallon predator tank teeming with grunts, sharks, a giant spotted moray eel, white fin remoras, lobsters and fierce barracudas. All of these treasures are swimming in and out of an eerie Florida sunken shipwreck. Watch your loved ones as they stand in the center of our 6 ft coral reef tank and feel like you are swimming among the fish! These species of fish hail from the Red Sea, Hawaiian Islands, Indo- Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Exhibits and tanks in the Aquariums of the Atlantic reinforce the importance of stewardship of these environments and the long-term effects humans have on the oceans and wildlife.
This section was super fun because you push the buttons to make the different animal sounds!
Then, we went on to the Amazing Butterflies display. When I first read this, I imagined a cage of real butterflies, but this is actually a maze for kids, where they can imagine they are the butterflies. Strollers are not allowed here, and I didn’t bring my carrier, so I didn’t have my hands free to take many photos here. The best part was jumping on the butterfly glider.
Its a lot like this little boy, but you are indoors in a maze. We made our way through, finding dead ends and solving problems to figure out how to go from being a caterpillar to a butterfly! Super fun.
This whole experience so far has been a couple hours now. At this point, if you have little ones like me, you might want to head to the cafe for some snacks, or if you packed some snacks or lunch, you can go outside for a picnic! My boys are rarely interested in food, so we didn’t stop yet. If they were a bit older, I think we could have stopped for lunch and ate outside, then headed to the brand new, 18-hole Conservation Course.
The Conservation Course is an 18-hole miniature course designed by Jim Fazio and Gary Nicklaus, located in the Science Center’s beautiful backyard. In concert with the Science Center’s mission to “open every mind to science,” the Conservation Course educates guests about natural Florida habitats, specifically the Everglades, since each hole is named for animals or plants indigenous to South Florida. Players of all ages can enjoy the course and its babbling brooks, butterfly gardens and lush green landscaping. A golf experience unlike any other!
We finished with the butterflies and cruised back over to The State of Matter room, where you explore various hands-on displays of mass, liquid, gas and plasma displays. Mine wanted to head straight to the water table again in the Discovery Center, where they played again for a while.
At this point, everyone was too tired to explore the other adventures, that I want to go back for. The nature trail was one I was excited about seeing, but missed because I knew my crew was exhausted, and it was a bit hot out for them at this point. I recommend going early in the morning and starting with the nature trail, then heading inside as the heat rises, that way you can cool off!

Nature Trail

Enjoy the outdoors while continuing your science exploration! Our interactive nature trail includes hands-on exhibits: Bubbleology, fossil dig, whisper dishes, and a brand-new 18-hole miniature golf course.
Hands down, the South Florida Science Center was an amazing experience. I left with some tired and happy boys, and that’s always my goal! We also navigated through everything without any issues, even with over 600 other kids there!

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