Little Scientists Can Try New Hands-On Experiments at Cranbrook Institute of Science

The museum’s new Galileo exhibit lets littles test the laws of gravity with simple machines and interactive science experiments.

Little astronomers and budding scientists can learn about Galileo Galilei, the Italian scientist, astronomer and mathematician, at “Galileo,” the newest exhibit at Cranbrook Institute of Science

Quick details about Galileo

Photo credit: Cranbrook Institute of Science

Oct. 1, 2023 – June 2, 2024

  • Address: ​​39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
  • Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m. 
  • Exhibit Cost: $8/adults, $5/seniors 62+ and kids 2-12, free for kids under 2. This cost is in addition to the general admission price. 
  • General admission is $10.50-$14/person for ages 2 and up. General admissions is free on the first Friday and third Thursday of the month. 
  • Parking: Free parking is available in front of the museum in the entrance circle, and south of the museum in the parking deck. 

On loan from the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, the exhibit follows five themes — astronomy; simple machines; gravity, motion and time; military and ballistics; and the birth of experimental science. 

Visitors will learn about Galileo’s groundbreaking discoveries in each of these categories through engaging artifacts and hands-on experiments. The interactive exhibit includes experiments in physics, mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences that even little ones can wrap their minds around. 

Photo credit: Cranbrook Institute of Science

Learn how Galileo used his telescope to chart celestial objects, or gain a simple understanding of physics through activities involving gears and pulleys, pendulums and more. 

Once your family has learned about basic scientific principles, it’s time to explore the museum! Cranbrook Institute of Science has some great exhibits and activities for families. Find a full list of the museum’s permanent exhibitions, or check out these museum highlights for families: 

Other things to see with kids at Cranbrook Institute of Science

Photo credit: Cranbrook Institute of Science

  • After learning about Galileo’s contributions to astronomy and science, a trip to the Cranbrook Observatory is the obvious next step on your tour of the museum. 
  • Next, gaze up in space at the “Astronomy Gallery.” Here, you’ll find ViewSpace, a live, self-updating feed from the home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. 
  • Dino lovers need to visit “Life Changes Over Time,” an exhibit with a full-sized T. rex skeleton cast. 
  • Play with patterned light and color at “Light Lab.” Families can discover how light can transform and travel through their surroundings. 
  • Snap a photo in front of the most dangerous ocean apex predator in history at “Megalodon.” 
  • Learn how animals go extinct at “Mastodons Did Not Survive,” an exhibit that follows the lives of mastodons, sabre-toothed cats and other Ice Age creatures. 
  • Relax, play and learn in the Erb Family Science Garden. The courtyard garden is home to native, wild plants and has water fixtures that feature water in solid, liquid and vapor states. 

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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