A trip to the Michigan Science Center is the quintessential interactive science experience in the state. With a new spectacle at every turn, kids will be kept busy with multiple open-concept floors of exhibits exploring space, industry, nutrition and physics – just to name a few.
Located at the site of the former Detroit Science Center, the Michigan Science Center opened in 2012 and aims to inspire curious minds of all ages and help launch the next generation of engineers, scientists and innovators.
We visited the museum during spring break and found these 10 features especially fascinating for kids (mine included). If you have children age 5 or younger, be sure to also check out Kids Town. It features a kid-sized vet office, field house, diner and more for the museum’s youngest visitors.
1. Work at the fun factory
Kids love walking through the moving asphalt exhibit and simulating other manufacturing processes in the popular United States Steel Fun Factory gallery.
2. Feel the ground shake
In the same area, little engineers get to fire up a giant tunnel boring machine and feel powerful vibrations on the floor beneath them as they operate it.
3. Touch a plasma globe
Getting to touch one of these amazing spheres is a memorable and mystifying experience for kids.
4. See a lightning storm
The half-hour Sparks Electricity Show at the museum’s DTE Energy Sparks Theater introduces kids to different types of electricity through awe-inspiring demonstrations like a lightning storm and an exploding wire.
5. Catch a show at the planetarium
Featuring a 50-foot-wide, three-story-high dome, MiSci’s Dassault Systèmes Planetarium puts kids inside the virtual universe at large letting them see stars, planets and galaxies.
6. Learn rocket science
In the Rocket Laboratory, kids can get a close-up look at four huge rocket models, learn how rockets work and find out how astronauts traveled to the moon.
7. Cross the Mackinac Bridge
While the 80-foot-long Mini Mac Bridge is only a fraction of the size of the real Mackinac Bridge, kids will love walking across it and learning about the Northern Michigan masterpiece along with some of the world’s greatest engineering marvels.
8. Singing refrigerator
It’s hard not to smile as little ones peek inside of a refrigerator in the health and nutrition gallery only to find an edge-to-edge screen showing a pop group singing a catchy song about nutrition.
9. Watch local traffic cameras
Kids will feel like they’re at the controls of a real-life traffic monitoring system as they flip between traffic cameras showing local roads.
Plan your visit
Address: 5020 John R St., Detroit
Phone number: 313-577-8400
Hours: Closed Monday-Tuesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $14/adults, $11/ages 2-12 and senior citizens, free/under age 2