The Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona is the type of museum my family loves. It’s an exciting place that encourages children and adults to touch, try and learn something new at every turn. It was a welcome diversion on an unseasonably warm spring day in Phoenix.
Here are my tips for visiting the Arizona Science Center.
Avoid the ticket line
We visited during Spring Break, and though we tried to arrive close to opening time, the line for tickets was already long by the time we arrived. Save yourself some time by purchasing tickets online in advance at tickets.azscience.org.
You can also avoid lines and crowds by arriving early or late in the day, and avoiding weekends and school holidays. The good news is that despite the line, the museum did not feel overly crowded once we were inside.
Our favorite exhibits
We found something to love in nearly every gallery. This is a hands-on museum that adults and teens can love as much as children. We started from the top and worked our way back down. My 8-year-old son was eyeing the water play exhibit, and we decided it would be best to save that, and wet clothes, for the end. My son didn’t get wet enough to need a change of clothes, and it was hot outside, so he didn’t mind being a little damp after our visit.
There are more than 300 hands-on exhibits in 7 galleries at the Arizona Science Center. Here are some of our favorites.
- See yourself with special effects on a big screen and try ham radio with an expert in My Digital World, Level 3
- Stand in the middle of a simulated storm in Forces of Nature, Level 3
- Lay on a bed of nails and try your strength with simple machines in Get Charged Up, Level 2
- Wheelchair races and a trip through the digestive system (with sound effects!) in All About Me, Level 1
- “Mindball” contests in The W.O.N.D.E.R. Center, Level 1
- Water play in Water Spheres and Gears, Level 1
There is plenty to keep you busy for several hours with General Admission at the Arizona Science Center, but there are several good ways to extend your stay with a premium experience. When my daughter saw the SkyCycle, she was happy to spend $5 of her own money to try it. It’s a physics lesson on wheels, and on a tightrope! She loved it.
The Arizona Science Center also has IMAX and a Planetarium with daily shows. It would be a great way to beat the Arizona heat in air-conditioned comfort. We had a busy schedule and skipped these shows, but would probably see at least one another time.
You may also want to pay extra to see a featured exhibit. Gridiron Glory, an exhibit about American football, was open during our visit.
Good to Know
Where: 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is across the street. Chase Field and the Convention Center are within walking distance.
When: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
How Much: These are the current prices for General Admission. IMAX, Planetarium and special exhibit admission cost extra. Link to the Arizona Science Center’s current rates here.
- Adults: $16.95
- Children (age 3-17): $11.95
- Seniors: $14.95
How Long: 2-4 hours
Amenities: gift shop, cafe
Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the Arizona Science Center for the purpose of review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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