When I was a young kid, we loved going to the Orlando Science Center. Back then, it was a much smaller facility, but it was still tons of fun. Today’s OSC is even better and is designed with all guests in mind, regardless of age. We’ve taken Graham several times and Jon and I have as much fun as he does!
The whole building is centered around a multi-story atrium with a cypress tree and wildlife surrounding it. I definitely recommend taking the stairs from one level to the next if you’re able because it offers a great 360 view of this feature.
My favorite part of the exhibits at OSC is that everything is hands-on. You can conduct your own experiments, build your own gadgets, and explore animal habitats.
Even though Graham doesn’t understand everything we’re doing or telling him about, this is still a great thing for him to experience because he’s becoming curious about the world around him. I wholeheartedly recommend OSC for everyone, babies through adults.
There is a special area of the Orlando Science Center for young kids called “KidsTown” and it features small-scale areas, perfect for them to explore. They can climb a tree, drive a train, go through the entire process of citrus picking, and even explore the sewer system! At 16 months, Graham is able to do all of these things without our assistance, which gives him independence and helps boost his confidence.
My favorite feature is a room for baby changing and feeding, located on the third level, where nursing mothers can get away from the hustle and bustle of the exhibits and relax for a few minutes with their babies. It’s definitely not an afterthought, like you might see in other places. This room is large and has comfortable chairs, a sink for preparing bottles or washing hands, a play mat and some toys. They’ve thought of everything! There’s also a room for baby changing on the first level.
Level four features Dino Digs, an area where kids can dig through “dirt” to uncover dinosaur bones. It’s tons of fun for them to play in and they can see life-sized bones up close this way, in addition to touring the rest of the exhibit.
Jon’s favorite exhibits were the simulators. He loved flying a plane (though he crashed several times!) and checking out the hurricane wind simulator… Graham didn’t love this one, but it sure was funny to watch! Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any lasting psychological scars.
We haven’t ventured into the theaters yet because we don’t think it would hold Graham’s attention long enough, but there are multiple theaters that show films throughout the day (most are included with your admission). You can get information on the schedule when you arrive.
- Admission is $19.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids 3 to 11, and kids 2 and under are free.
- Hours are 10:00 to 5:00 Sunday through Thursday and 10:00 to 9:00 Friday and Saturday.
- Florida teachers get in free (see website for details on necessary documentation) and if you have an EBT card you can get up to 6 people in for just $3 each.
- Parking is $5 in the garage across Princeton from OSC (there’s a bridge, so you don’t have to cross the road with the kids).
- Pack a lunch and eat in the cafeteria or picnic on the lawn outside if the weather is nice. There is also a Subway on-site.
- If you’re going with a young kid, start at the top and work your way down, otherwise you might never see the other exhibits! KidsTown (on the lowest level) is awesome and being updated later this year, so you’ll want to spend lots of time there.
- If you want to check out OSC without kids, you can do that too! There are regular events called “Science Night Live” that allow adults 21+ to have their run of the place, with added features like trivia games, guest speakers and special food and adult beverages available for purchase. Check the website for details.