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“Strange membership policy”
Review of WonderLab

WonderLab
Ranked #3 of 54 things to do in Bloomington
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology is an award-winning science museum and popular destination for family fun! The museum offers two floors of exciting hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages! These include a two-story grapevine climbing maze, close encounters with live animals, the Bubble-Airium, and a special area with science adventures for very young children. WonderLab is an accessible facility. Amenities include a gift store, vending/snack area, and outdoor garden. WonderLab is located on the B-Line Trail in the heart of the Bloomington entertainment and arts district (BEAD). See WonderLab’s website for special programs and events, discount admission opportunities, special exhibitions, private party rentals, high visitation alerts, and more.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stairs / lift, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Baby buggy parking
Reviewed 12 December 2013

I would give three stars for the museum contents. Average in comparison with other similarly sized science museums. But I take away one because of the membership policy, and I agree with another reviewer here that was critical of it. Every museum we have belonged to offers a family membership to two adults and all dependent children living in the same household. It's not right for Wonderlab to charge us extra because we have four children (by adoption, not that it should matter, but maybe it does to Wonderlab). Does it really cost the museum $15 more per kid? It's not like kids are using up a lot of materials or something. We passed on the family membership, and won't be returning.

1  Thank pablo s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise S, Public Relations Manager at WonderLab, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2013

Dear pablo s,

Thank you for sharing your opinion about WonderLab. We regret that we didn't meet your expectations. With regard to the membership policy, we recognize that today's families may live in more than one household. Therefore, we allow you to choose a certain number of individuals in your family to name on the membership card regardless of where they live. This is one model some museums follow; the other model is the one you mention. Let us assure you that biological and adopted children are counted the same way according to WonderLab's membership policy. The $15 fee per additional member is roughly equivalent to two visits per year, and our research shows that this is a bargain because members typically visit more often and also take advantage of other discounts we offer with membership.

Beginning in January 2014, WonderLab will begin to participate in the Access Pass program, which provides $1 per person general admission for members of income-eligible families. Perhaps your family would qualify for this alternative to membership. The detailed information and the application form will be posted on our website (wonderlab.org) sometime in January. If you have concerns about the content of your experience beyond membership, please feel free to communicate those to us (writeus@wonderlab.org) so we can improve our service to you and others.

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Reviews (182)
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122 - 126 of 182 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2013

I contacted the volunteer coordinator and they were very kind to accept me as a non-participant observer during their experimentation and discovery activity in which the young children attended. I was impressed by the activity, the way it was planned and conducted. I thought the children who were there were very lucky. I would definitely get a family membership and take my child there every week. The only thing it was kind of irritating was the noise as there was a school visiting and as you may imagine when children are having fun, they can get way too noisy. It is better to visit out of school hours to avoid school groups visiting.

Thank BillurC C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise S, Public Relations Manager at WonderLab, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2013

Dear BillurC C,

Thank you for your glowing review of WonderLab! We appreciate your perspective as an international visitor. Please know that we post "high visitation" alerts on our website and Facebook page when we know a large group is scheduled to be in the museum. Of course, it is harder to predict general attendance visitors. A basic rule of thumb, though, is that WonderLab tends to be quiet in the early hours right after opening, as well as in the latter part of the afternoon.

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Reviewed 21 November 2013

Great place to take the grandkids! Lot's of creative play spaces.
Water, music, bubbles, bugs...you name it...they experience it. Some of the volunteers are young, so watch your kids...the older children move through the spaces at high energy but the younger ones may need some help when outside the gated toddler areas.

Thank Abbey Inn and S... B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise S, Public Relations Manager at WonderLab, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2013

Dear Abbey Inn and S... B,
Thank you for sharing your positive experience with your grandchildren at WonderLab! We'd like to take this opportunity to highlight some information on the museum's website that parents and grandparents can use to help children explore and increase learning. Under the EXHIBITS tab, see the various exhibit areas listed in the menu to the left side of the page. Each of these webpages contains some open-ended questions you can ask children as you explore the galleries together. Who knows? The adults might learn something new, too!

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Reviewed 3 November 2013

Being from Indy we have the huge Children's Museum so to us, this seemed small, but the quality and types of exhibits were very interactive and well maintained. They appear to be focused towards the younger but older kids can get something out of it too.

Thank 1TravlinFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise S, Public Relations Manager at WonderLab, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear 1TravlinFam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion about WonderLab! We appreciate your comment about the quality of WonderLab's science exhibits and the fact that they were in working order. We pay a lot of attention to such things. We look forward to serving your family again when you're back in Bloomington.

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Reviewed 29 October 2013

Was here early Saturday morning with my 8 & 10 year olds. Nice facility with some nifty hands-on exhibits. We killed an hour or so painlessly. Well maintained generally, nice bathrooms, right outside the BEAD area. If your kids are much older than mine, probably won't get too much out of this. If they're younger, run don't walk!

1  Thank Furcow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louise S, Public Relations Manager at WonderLab, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear Furcow,

Thank you for your positive review of WonderLab! We're delighted that your 8 and 10-year-olds enjoyed the visit. We want to alert you to an opportunity that your children might like as they get older. WonderLab has periodic free teens-only nights with special age-appropriate programming and free food. These events are open only to those in grades 7-12, or home-school equivalent. We invite you to dine at one of downtown Bloomington's fine restaurants while your teenage children are having fun here at the museum.

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