My 7, 5, and 1 year old had a great time at the Science Spectrum on our recent trip to Lubbock - they look forward to visiting each time we go, and that's what I'm basing my rating on. There are a number of interactive exhibits that get them excited, and my 5 and 1 year old love the play area devoted to the youngest kids.
I was happy to see some renovations going on inside the museum - they are much needed. For the most part, my kids don't notice that many of the exhibits seem a bit dated or broken. I think it would be great to see some of the exhibits become a bit more interactive and age appropriate. For example, and exhibit on healthy eating habits consists of plastic food in a glass case with written words - my kids pass it right by. There is a lunch counter set up to be a play area, but there are no foods, no dishes, no working cash register - in other words, not much fun to play in.
My 7-year-old was interested in the wordy displays about avoiding drug addiction, but they were way over her head. Oddly, a machine spewed out the smell of things that can be addictive, explaining that smells can trigger addicts' cravings - after helping her make sense of that exhibit, my shirt smelled like tobacco smoke for the rest of the day and she was disturbed.
There are other sections of the museum that are totally not interactive - a section on money, a women's department store that is completely encased in glass - why not have a dress up area and cash registers and let the kids play store after looking at the store? The flight area used to be interactive - it appears to be going the way of the glass cases as well. I hope they return to the interactive part, and repair some of the cooler things that are broken as well.
Among the more fun things - a wildlife of Texas exhibit with prairie dogs, fish, turtles, snakes, and more; a climbing wall, the IMAX theater, traveling exhibits (they were getting ready for a large zoo exhibit while we were there), several fairly large, interactive sections on various types of science, a big section with bubbles (always a favorite) and a section on sports science. Overall, there is enough to do here to fill an afternoon with young kids and leave them eager to come back.
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