Housed in a pavilion built for the 1964 World's Fair, NYSCI has been a hands-on science and technology center since 1986. Children of all ages will love the numerous hands-on activities that are simultaneously fun and educational. Rocket Park allows visitors to see some of the first rockets and spacecraft that started the space race. The museum also has an area especially for the youngest visitors, Preschool Place, which is perfect for toddlers.
Visiting the New York Hall of Science with your kids will inevitably remind you of the science museums from your childhood. Although this means that some of the exhibits need updating, it also means there are plenty of the classic science museum displays that you can enjoy seeing your children learn about light, math, and music in the same way you did.
NYSCI has plenty of new and temporary exhibits to explore. A recent exhibit on animation had many opportunities for children to try their hand at drawing and animating their own mini-movies. There are also two great demonstrations held daily -- a cow eyeball dissection (don't worry, you just watch!) and a chemistry demonstration. Both are well-done and engaging -- arrive about 5 minutes early to get a front row seat so you can maximize your enjoyment.
Since 2010, NYSCI has hosted the World Maker Faire in late September. It's a wonderfully interactive and creative event, and very popular. Tickets are sold especially for this event and parking is not available at NYSCI during the event.
For up-to-date information about hours, admission and exhibits, visit the official New York Hall of Science website.
What You Should Know About Visiting NYSCI
- From Grand Central, it will take about 45 minutes to reach NYSCI on the 7 train.
- Be aware that the museum closes at 2 p.m. on most weekdays during the school year. Check the hours to avoid disappointment.
- Plan to spend about two hours exploring the exhibits that most interest your child at the museum.
- You can purchase food in the cafe or bring your own. The menu includes plenty of kid-friendly options.
- The Queens Zoo, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Carousel and Lemon Ice King of Corona are both close to NYSCI, and can easily be combined to provide an entire day of entertainment.
- There is (paid) parking right at the museum, but there is also free street parking along 111th Street.