Fort Conde – Mobile, Alabama

Over the weekend my family took a day trip to Mobile, Alabama.  Over the next few days, I will be posting the different things that we did.  See the first post about the Gulf Coast Exploreum here.

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The parking lot that we chose to park in was right across the street from Fort Conde so after visiting the Gulf Coast Exploreum, we went into Fort Conde.  Admission is free and there is a small visitor center in the fort where you can pick up information for all kinds of activities in Mobile.  According to the website, the fort that you can explore is only about “1/3 of the original fort recreated in 4/5-scale.”  The majority of the fort was removed since there was no more need for the defense.  This fort is funny because the cannons are all aimed at high rise buildings now and Interstate 10 runs right under it!  

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Even though most of it is gone now and the city has built up all around it, you can still get a feel for what life was like back then by exploring the various rooms of the forts.  The rooms have examples of how they might have looked, with period dress and various other remnants from that time period. 

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You will see storage rooms, bedrooms, and a spot where they kept the prisoners.  

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The kids will love to check out all the little hidey holes and the cannons on the second level.

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The fort is located on 150 South Royal Street.  If you park in the public parking lot across the street, it is just a short walk to the Exploreum and other Mobile sites.
Mobile Things To Do

The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center – Mobile, Alabama

This past weekend, my family and I took a road trip to Mobile.  It is about a 45 minute drive from Pensacola, so it is a perfect spot for a day trip.  Over the next week or so, I will post the activities that we did while we were there. 

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The first place that we stopped was the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center.  The Exploreum is a great place to take your kids and help promote their love (or mild like!) of science.  One of the current exhibits is My Body Works and is a great interactive exhibit. 

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When you first arrive, you get a little card that you plug into a bunch of the machines and it records data on things like how much blood you have in your body, how far you can stretch, how high you can jump, etc.  When you have completed all of the activities, you plug the card into a computer and a personal health profile is given to you.  Big S really liked the room where you could simulate laproscopic surgery.  He was pretty good at it!  We did several of the activities, but unfortunately it was so crowded, that we decided to skip the rest of it.  My kids were getting anxious so we moved on.  The next exhibit we stopped at were the Hands on and Minds on Halls. 

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There are tons of hands-on activities and you could spend quite some time here.  The kids loved the dancing magnets, the pulley machine seats, the shadow wall, and the weighted wheel race.  They also enjoyed playing DJ, playing the laser harp, and pretending to be on TV in the WKRG newsroom!

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In the same area is the Wharf of Wonder which features a ship, a ball pit ocean, a little wharf with a fish shop.  there are also little tables with building blocks and computers set up here.  The Wharf of Wonder is for children from ages 0-5.  

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There are all kinds of camps in summer and I saw a flyer posted for preschool activities during the upcoming school year.  Check the website before you go so that you know what exhibit is going on.  We are super excited for the upcoming Bob the Builder exhibit that will begin in October and run through January. 

Helpful Hints:

  • Right now, they are running a special where adults get in for children’s price on Sundays.  This special will be running through August 30th.
  • For my family of four to visit, it cost us $32 (it would have been $36 but we went on a Sunday and were able to buy adult tickets at children’s prices).  For only $100, your family can become members of the Exploreum.  Members benefit from free admission to all permanent exhibits and discounted tickets to blockbuster exhibits and IMAX movies.  If we were going to go more than three or four times a year, I would definitely buy a membership.  If you travel a lot, the membership does have reciprocity with over 270 other museums and science centers in the United States.  There is also an option called the mini membership.  For $50, it includes admission to permanent exhibits for one adult and two children.
  •   The current IMAX movies showing are Mummies, The Living Sea, and Journey into Amazing Caves.  The upcoming IMAX films are NASCAR, Animalopolis, The Light Before Christmas, and Dinosaurs.  All seven of these are different from the four currently showing at the Naval Aviation Museum, home of our local IMAX.
  • If you have children ages 0-5, you will receive a WOW sticker when you purchase your tickets.  This is not some cute little sticker that says WOW on it.  We were not informed at time of purchase that this sticker is the entrance into the Wharf Of Wonder!!  Luckily, my son had his sticker so both children were able to play. 
  • Plan on about 1.5-2.5 hours for a visit in the Exploreum.  You can definitely finish in less time or spend even longer there depending on the pace of your children, but if they experience everything and then see an IMAX, this time should be sufficient. 

Mobile Things To Do

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