The New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York, is an interactive children's science museum. It's a fun afternoon for kids from ages 5 to 15. Teenagers and older folks might get a kick out of the NASA rockets outside the museum, but don't bother unless you've got kids in tow. The museum is in the western part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park (the Corona side) and easily reached by car or subway.
Exhibits and Admission
The museum concentrates on interactive learning exhibits. Some are straight science and math. Others like the Rocket Park mini-gold emphasize the fun part a little more. The exhibit Mathematica was designed for IBM by Charles and Ray Eames. Check the schedule for demonstrations that happen almost every day at the museum. Get there early in the day if you can, especially during school holiday weeks.
Check the museum's website for open hours and updated information on ticket prices.
- Address: See link to website above.
- Subway: Take the 7 subway to 111th Street. Walk three blocks south of Roosevelt Avenue.
- Bus: The Q23 and Q58 stop at Corona Avenue and 108th Street. The Q48 stops at 111th Steet and Roosevelt Avenue.
- Long Island Railroad: The LIRR stops at Flushing Meadows / Citi Field, but check the LIRR schedule for accurate train information. It's a 20-minute walk through Flushing Meadows Park from the LIRR to the museum.
Driving Directions and Parking
- Long Island Expressway Westbound: take the exit for 108th Street. Turn right on 108th Street, and then right on 52nd Avenue. Then turn left on 111th Street, and right on 49th Avenue into the museum's entrance drive.
- Long Island Expressway Eastbound: Take the exit for 108th Street. Left on 108th Street, and then right on 52nd Avenue. Then turn left on 111th Street, and right on 49th Avenue into the museum's entrance drive.
- Parking: You can pay to park at the museum. Or look for street parking nearby. You might get lucky with street parking, but be sure to bring quarters for the meter.
There are two rockets on display on the outdoor grounds of the museum. These are NASA rockets from the 1960s. Though never used, they were part of the Mercury and Gemini space programs. One is a Titan 2 and the other an Atlas. They are both roughly 100 feet high. They were first installed at the Hall of Science for the 1964 World's Fair, where they were a prime attraction.
The rockets remained on the museum's grounds until 2001 when they were refurbished. They had deteriorated over time, and the Atlas even had become infested with termites. After extensive repairs and painting, the two rockets returned to Corona in 2003.
World's Fair and the Museum's Beginnings
The museum opened in 1964 as part of the World's Fair held at Flushing Meadows. Unlike most of the fair, the museum remained open after the fair closed in 1965. It was one of the first interactive children's science museums in the country. The exhibits, though innovative for the time, were much smaller than it's present incarnation.
The museum closed its doors in 1979 for a major renovation and opened again in 1986.
Since then the popularity and success of the Hall have continued with further expansions and renovations.