I loved science centers as a kid and still do. I’m lucky now that my children comply and join me so I don’t have to go alone (ha!). I challenge anyone to get the same thrill from modern technology as you do from blowing a giant bubble in a science center bubble maker.
I’ve wanted to take my kids to the Liberty Science Center for years and jumped at the invitation. As an added bonus, my daughter’s friend slept over so I was able to provide the best next day super cool science play date for them.
My jaw dropped upon entry. With the Skyscraper! exhibit to your left (complete with a 18 foot steel beam experience!), a massive hanging Hoberman Sphere, and glass walls all around, I was giddy. I mean the kids were giddy.
We began our day at Jack Horner’s Dino Dig overlooking an insanely beautiful view of Manhattan.
As we settled into the sand – set up like a real excavation site – we slowly uncovered dinosaur skeletons with paint brushes.
Next, we headed to Arthur’s World on the 4th floor (my tried & true science center approach is top-down). With multiple imaginative play stations the kids could have stayed here for hours (a constant at each exhibit).
From the library – complete with beeping bar code checker-outer, tent, Mr. Ratburn’s classroom, the Read family kitchen & a green screen “Lakewood School Auditorium” video experience, they “visited” all of Arthur’s favorite spots from the show and book.
Next we headed to Grossology an exhibit that answers all of the gross questions (not just a clever title) that your kids asks.
Yes, I’m talking about farts, burps, poop, and boogers. Plus a rainbow of other gross questions you constantly tell your kids to stop talking about.
In addition to the interactive way one learns the answers, each station presented “factoids” that were really, really interesting!
Kids can crawl through the human body, pose in a nose, and reveal all of the body’s secrets. *Here I feel obligated to make the joke that you can pick your friends…
Plus, there’s a pinball machine.
Next, we headed to the Our Hudson Home exhibit. It was super interesting to learn about the complex relationships occurring every minute in our local river and what’s needed to keep it operational. But more important – there are REALLY BIG FISH in the fish tank. As my kids played, I just watched the fish. I like really big fish.
Still on the 4th floor – hours later, we headed over to the Block Party. Here, the kids used life size blue foam blocks to create whatever struck their imagination at that moment.
Then they banded together to create a fort. I’m sorry – a two story fort, I’d get in trouble if I didn’t mention that part. I’m not joking when I say this exhibit alone could have taken up the entire day.
I finally lured them down to the 3rd floor by pointing to the massive Infinity Climber. Suspended in the courtyard of the museum, with multiple routes to explore and 35 foot high pathways, I’d assume this is a consistent fan favorite.
Next, on the 3rd floor was the Infection Connection exhibit. Know how you tell your kids to wash the germs off their hands, cover their noses when they sneeze, and cough into their elbow? This exhibit explains why.
Continuing on, we visited the 80 foot long, pitch black Touch Tunnel. With their sight on hiatus, kids are forced to navigate the maze using alternate senses. For parents – there’s an infrared camera outside providing a fly-on-the-wall experience.
Of course no visit to a science center is complete without a stop at the planetarium. The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater (the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere) was massive and did not disappoint. Sitting all the way at the top, we had the sensation that we were soaring through space along with the images – aka the perfect planetarium experience.
The Liberty Science Center is a dream come true for fellow science center lovers. You should plan on spending the whole day there to fully explore all of the exhibits and the great pop up science experiments.
There are also tables throughout where you can stop and enjoy lunch, including outdoor picnic areas with beautiful views.
It was the perfect location for a play date and would be a great place to meet up with a friend who lives in New Jersey.
Driving to the Liberty Science Center from Long Island was a super easy and direct route that took about an hour. It’s right off the Holland tunnel in Liberty State Park.
There is so much more I could write about but I don’t want to be a total spoiler…
I leave you with this – every exhibit was interactive, every exhibit was amazing, and every exhibit could have kept the kids busy for hours. Isn’t that our ultimate goal in a place to go? Plus, it’s air conditioned and full of outlets where you can charge your phone. To me – the perfect recipe for a summer destination!