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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Guest Post: Greensboro Science Center & SciQuarium - part 2 of 2

This post is the second of a two part series, submitted by Leslie Wannamaker, a Greensboro mom of two boys. Please view the first part of this post, with information on the SciQuarium at the Greensboro Science Center here: http://www.gsofamilies.com/2013/07/guest-post-greensboro-science-center.html



The Greensboro Science Center has plenty to see apart from the SciQuarium. There is the Health Exhibit with lots of hands on activities. There are several kids play areas separated into age appropriate sections. There is a room full of dinosaurs and a long hall of animals and rocks. My son particularly likes the little cubical with all the glow-in-the-dark stones. The weather exhibit is interesting. If your little one is sensitive to sounds, be aware that there is an area where you can feel tornado force winds and it can be rather loud. There are also several Adventure Theatres with free shows. I haven’t seen the meerkats show but I’m told it’s very cute. We did see the Indiana Bones show. It was very cute but perhaps better for older children. It’s about 30 minutes long and my three year old was ready to leave about halfway through. Downstairs, there are lots of snakes and a few other exhibits as well.

The Animal Discovery Zoo is larger than it looks. I actually prefer it to the zoo in hot weather because it’s about 50% in the shade. If you have any little ones who might tire easily, I would strongly recommend a stroller or baby carrier. There are meerkats, tigers, maned wolves, an anteater, a red panda, several birds, many different types of monkeys and much more. The little house has smaller animals like rabits, hedgehogs, and owls. They usually have a volunteer with an animal to pet. If you like bugs, there is an awesome room full of creepy crawlers in the back of the little house. Personally, I leave that room for my husband to take the kids in but the boys do love it.

The wallaby walk-through and the petting zoo areas are fun as well. The animals are very friendly and there is always a volunteer or staff member around to share fun facts about each one. Be aware that there are a few animals allowed to wander the zoo area. The guinea fowl tend to stay close to the barn at the petting area, but the peacocks roam all over. Behind the petting area is the Animal Husbandry building. Duke, the very tiny baby java gibbon, is usually in the window. If you don’t know, the java gibbon recently had a little one but her keepers were unable to keep mother and baby together (she rejected the little one and then was unable to nurse him when they tried to reintroduce the pair).

The Animal Discovery handlers have “keeper talks” each day at different times. They share something interesting about a particular animal and some of these times coincide with feeding or other play activities. The schedule is posted at the entrance to the zoo area as well as online.

In case you are interested, the OmniSphere shows are generally worth the extra ticket cost. The 3D shows are nice for older children and adults. Personally, I love the laser light shows but those typically play in the evenings. The 12:00 kids show, One World One Sky, is a favorite for my son. It features Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Elmo, and a few others. Just be aware that if you leave the theatre you cannot re-enter during the show. The OmniSphere is first and foremost a planetarium. As with most other shows of this nature, it is dark and re-entry during a show would be disruptive to other viewers as well as potentially dangerous for you.

The last thing I will touch on is food. The new Fresh Market Café is now open. The prices are reasonable, but not necessarily cheap. I think it’s about $6 for a sandwich. We’ve only been in for a snack (a fruit bowl and a yummy cookie). They have plenty of selection if you’re interested. Otherwise, you are welcome to bring your own food items. For obvious reasons, food is only permitted in certain areas. There are tables around the pendulum in the lobby and downstairs. There is also a large cafeteria downstairs though starting around noon it can fill up with visiting school groups. Between the howler monkeys and the tigers in Animal Discovery, there is a section of picnic tables. If you are looking for other snack options besides the café, there are vending machines in the cafeteria.

Calendar of Events at the Science Center


This post is the second of a two part series, submitted by Leslie Wannamaker, a Greensboro mom of two boys. Please view the first part of this post, with information on the SciQuarium at the Greensboro Science Center here: http://www.gsofamilies.com/2013/07/guest-post-greensboro-science-center.html

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