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MUSEUM OF SCIENCE

With over 700 colorful, interactive displays designed to thrill and amaze the minds of kids and adults alike, it’s little wonder that this is one of Boston’s most-visited museums. Popular attractions include the jaw-dropping dome-shaped IMAX® screen in the Mugar Omni Theater, the techno-fabulous Hall of Human Life, kid-pleasing lightning demonstrations, and daily live science shows.

NEED TO KNOW

prac_info 1 Science Park • “T” station: Science Park (green line) • 617 723 2500 • www.mos.orgOpen 9am–5pm Sat–Thu (Jul & Aug: to 7pm), 9am–9pm Fri • Adm adults $28; seniors $24; children (aged 3–11) $23 • An extra fee is charged for admission to several attractions, including the Charles Hayden Planetarium, the 4-D Theater, the Mugar Omni Theater and the Butterfly Garden. Individual admission to these attractions ranges from $6 to $10.

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  • The museum’s Riverview Café (level 1, by the Museum Store) features several food stations, including a taqueria, Puck’s (light meals designed by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck), a burger grill, salad bar, sandwich stand, and a Starbucks coffee shop. Special meal options are available for large groups that call ahead and make a booking to visit the Museum of Science.
TopTen

Museum of Science

1. To the Moon

This popular exhibit includes full-size replicas of the Apollo Command Module and the Lunar Module cockpit. Kids can climb into the pilots’ seats and relive the first landing on the moon. Nearby models show the growth of space stations from Skylab and Mir to the International Space Station. Pieces of moon rock are on show as well.

2. Butterfly Garden

Visitors to this tropical greenhouse walk among clouds of brightly colored, fluttering butterflies from New England and around the world. Interactive displays and exhibits highlight fascinating butterfly facts including the four stages of a butterfly’s life, plus the miracle of metamorphosis, and how they fly.

3. Colossal Fossil

Meet Cliff, one of only four nearly complete triceratops skeletons on display in the world. He looks pretty good considering he’s 65 million years old. Discovered in North Dakota in 2004, Cliff measures 23 ft (7 m) from horn tip to tail, and his head alone weighs 800 lb (362 kg).

4. Discovery Center

Geared to children under eight, this colorful, fun, activity-filled center is all about stimulating young minds with a sense of exploration. The changing activities can include excavating artifacts, analyzing fingerprints, or creating slime with borax and school glue. Well-trained staff help children discover the fun of problem-solving.

5. Hall of Human Life

Visitors here are given an anonymous barcode wristband that is used to record their responses to the many challenges and activities on offer, and can then download their results and compare them to those of other visitors. Cutting-edge subjects are explored, such as DNA sequencing, GMO research and all sorts of medical and nutritional issues.

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Visitors at the Hall of Human Life

6. Theater of Electricity

This live-theater show explores the science of electricity. Its star is the world’s largest Van de Graaff generator, which safely zaps out sizzling light-ning bolts of up to 1 million volts.

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The Van de Graff generator at the Theatre of Electricity

7. Charles Hayden Planetarium

This high-tech planetarium brings the dazzling night sky to life, and presents shows that include a look at images sent back by NASA’s latest space missions, exploration of celestial sights, and immersive music shows.

8. Mugar Omni Theater

This remarkable IMAX® Theater takes the “big-screen” concept into a whole new realm. Visitors sit below a 180-degree dome that fills their entire range of vision, immersing their senses with spectacular sights and powerful digital sounds.

9. Science Live! Stage

This live presentation features hands-on science demonstrations. Meet an alligator, explore nanotechnology, or find out why our brains fall for optical illusions. A daily changing schedule keeps up with the latest advancements making the news.

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An owl during a live demonstration at the Science Live!

10. Energized!

Innovative exhibits cover the latest in alternative energy, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, and the solutions they can offer.

MUSEUM HISTORY

The Boston Museum of Science traces its origins back to the founding of the Boston Society of Natural History in 1830. The first permanent museum opened in 1864, making MOS one of the oldest science museums in America.

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