What: Science museum; Where: 139 Brooks Street, Ft. Walton Beach; When: Tues-Fri 9am-2pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 12pm-4pm; Cost: Children $3.75, Adults $5.75, Seniors $4.75, Children 2 and under free
The Emerald Coast Science Center has been on our list of activities to try for three years. Every summer, I say that this will be the summer that we drive over to Ft. Walton Beach and visit the Emerald Coast Science Center. Every summer comes and goes without making the stop. The silly thing is that we drive past the center at least once every two or three months on our way to Destin or Panama City. Last week, we finally stopped and visited the Emerald Coast Science Center and we loved it.
The Emerald Coast Science Center is in a small building but it is packed tight with hands-on, interactive exhibits. It wasn’t very crowded so we were able to move freely from exhibit to exhibit. Each room houses a different set of exhibits. One of the things that I first noticed was that every hands-on exhibit my kids tried worked. That is my biggest complaint about visiting children’s museums. So often, we visit a museum and many of the exhibits are closed for repair or just not working. We only found one thing that appeared to be out of order or the directions weren’t clear enough to us to figure out (more likely, it was the latter of the two!). The exhibits are well maintained and clean throughout the entire museum.
Exhibits include the Electricity and Wind Tunnel where visitors can learn more about electricity and fly a model airplane (one of my son’s favorite spots).
There is also the Hall of Life as well as Critters and Bubbles, and Color and Light.
We spent the most time in the Hall of Life and the Bubble Room. The Bubble Room was a huge hit with my two children. There are two tables full of a bubble solution. On one table, you use a hose that is blowing out air to create bubbles. My son decided he was building a bubble city.
The second table has a bubble wand that creates large bubbles. It took a few minutes to figure out how to make a bubble without popping it right away. It took Little S a few minutes to figure it out but once she did, I couldn’t tear her away from the table.
The Hall of Life is one of the largest sections of the museum. This is where visitors will learn more about the human body. There are a number of pull-out panels and doors to open and explore.
There are even learning activities in the hallways, like this wall hanging that fascinated both kids for several minutes.
Once you are finished visiting the museum, you can head to the beautiful park behind it. There is plenty of shade for a picnic lunch and a playground to run off some energy before getting back in the car to head home.
The building is located on a road that runs parallel to Highway 98 and is close to restaurants, the park, and more. The Emerald Coast Science Center is very close to the Indian Temple Mound Museum and is about a ten minute drive from the Gulfarium making it easy to plan a full day trip.
If you have a membership to the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the Emerald Coast Science Center currently participates in the Passport Program.