Guide To Connecticut’s Science Center – A Museum Designed For Kids

April 4, 2014 9:00 AM

Connecticut Science Center

Not all museums love children, or vice versa, but every child (and their parents) is bound to find something to like at the Connecticut Science Center. This is a museum designed for children, with lots of things to see and do and touch. From ongoing favorites to ever-changing traveling exhibits, and from crafting and other hands-on learning activities to computers to play on, the Connecticut Science Center is a great place for families and groups of kids to spend a day, and one that children will want to come back to time and time again.

Connecticut Science Center
250 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 724-3623

“See” Sound, “Hear” Light and Other Amazing Experiences

Every visitor has their favorite exhibit and activity at the Connecticut Science Center, the kind that brings them back over and over again. The Sight and Sound Experience mashup of art, music and science is one of the most popular. It allows visitors to “see” sound, “hear” light and make music by moving their bodies. Other ongoing favorites include the Sports Lab, which uses biomechanics to analyze movement as kids leap and jump and do other sports-related activities, and the Forces in Motion robotics lab, where kids get to build things that move. There are many other stations in the museum where kids get to build and create things, turn handles, spin dials, push buttons and use computers to make things happen.

The Science Center has many other recurring hands-on events, including participating in an ongoing indoor dinosaur dig and experimenting with stop-motion photography. Other regular exhibits immerse children in Connecticut’s rivers, let them explore outer space and create energy to power miniature cities.

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3-D Movies in the Science Center

The Connecticut Science center includes a big 30’ x 40’ screen movie theater. With its advanced 3-D digital technology and 18,000-watt Dolby sound system, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Science Theater offers a movie-going experience far beyond that of most commercial cinemas. The documentaries shown in the theater are educational and entertaining, and audiences have been known to gasp in amazement while watching films about butterflies, undersea reefs, outer space phenomena and other wonders of nature and science. The Science Center also has special programs for school groups, and on holidays and weekends, adds in the 25-minute-long cartoon “The Gruffalo,” a magical tale about a mouse on a voyage of discovery through the woods.

Upcoming Events: From Modern Health to Ancient Egypt

The Connecticut Science Center offers many programs for schools and scouts, including overnight stays in the museum, exploration camp-outs and even health monitoring days. During the Winter Olympics, for example, the Center offered an Olympic sports-themed Healthcare Health Lab that focused on the training, talents and skills needed to be an Olympic athlete. Additional health-themed events will soon be announced, but there are many other new exhibits scheduled for the year. A Robot Humanoid robotics exhibit is currently on display, as is a traveling Egyptology exhibit about “Lost Egypt” that will run through May 4.

Best Times to Visit

The Connecticut Science Center is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can call ahead to see what times any large school or scouting groups might be scheduled, should they wish to avoid the crowd. The center has visitors every day, but things tend to start slow and end slow, so visiting right after opening or late in the afternoon tend to work best for individual families.

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Working up an Appetite

The Connecticut Science Center has its own café – which reopened in mid-February after more than a month of extensive renovations. The café is great for a quick snack or a place to sit and take a break in between the many activities the museum offers. There are, however, many places within a short drive to eat after completing a day at the museum. Within a two blocks’ walk are some of the best known and reasonable of Hartford’s many places to eat, including the Arch Street Saloon, City Steam Brewery and Dish restaurant.

Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at

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