Your kids will completely lose themselves in the hundreds of hands-on exhibits at the Great Lakes Science Center, allowing them to explore the concepts of light, optics, sound, resonance, motion, mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and weather. They can touch a tornado, stand on the Bridge of Fire (a static generator that will make their hair stand on end), and watch their own shadow freeze on the wall in the Shadow Room. Space exploration is a key theme here, especially appropriate because the science center is also the home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center. Space shuttle and lunar lander models, flight simulators, and even the Apollo command module that was part of the 1973 Skylab 3 mission are on display. The center’s BioMedTech section delves into medical technology and engineering (and even lets you view the inside of a stomach with an endoscopic camera). The Polymer Funhouse, designed for kids 7 and under, includes a creative play area made from recycled plastics designed to look like a fanciful paddlewheel steamship. The science center also allows visitors to explore a real steamship — the William G. Mather, a 618-foot restored Great Lakes freighter. An OMNIMAX theater rounds out the offerings at the Science Center.
Money-saving tip: On Tuesdays, the Science Center is free to all kids under 18 (accompanied by an adult; does not include the OMNIMAX theater or the William G. Mather steamship). Also, note that the science center’s parking garage is not available on days when the Browns play. You can park in surface lots in the area, but you’ll pay higher fees than usual, so you’ll probably want to use public transportation or plan your visit for another day.