Friday, August 12, 2016

Adventure Science Center Adventure

This last week, my lovely wife and I hosted two of our grand-kids while Mom and Dad went off to Mexico for rest, relaxation and Margaritas. Heavy on the Margaritas. With this onset of this blasted heat in the last weeks we've all been stuck indoors, so we've been looking for things to do that are, well, out of the house, but not in the heat. Also they have to be geared to the youngsters so a night out at the Wild Horse Saloon is out. Pity, that. 

If you search the Internet for things to do, you'll come across any number of things to do in Nashville, but most are the heat, which is not what we were wanting.  We decided to try the Adventure Science Center. Described as a multilevel museum with hands-on exhibits & a planetarium that teaches kids about tech, health & ecology. I'd been to the place when my youngest was a kid, and we had a great time and I even remember some of the things we learned together. I envisioned great bonding moments aplenty. 

Upon entering, I noticed a lot of changes and not all of them good. To begin, the pricing was a bit high at $14.95 for adults and this counts anyone over the age of 12.  Only slightly less for younger kids, but to tell the truth, the younger ones are the ones who enjoy it the most. There are additional fees for the moonwalk exhibit and the planetarium shows.  We opted out of both extras.  

The biggest change is the exhibits.  Lots of lights, buttons and noise.  In addition, the exhibits were bigger and better laid out.  Where before the exhibits were like pods placed at random across the floor, the exhibits now were large and incorporated the walls, ceilings and more. There is an ambulance that kids can climb into and see all the equipment up close. 

Lastly, when we first visited, the only food available was from vending machines. Now, there is a full service Subway Sandwich Shop right inside the center! Nationwide standardized pricing, too!

And now the problem:  So many other people had the same thought as we did. So the place was overrun with kids.  This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the attitude of the parents which was basically just follow along with the running screaming kids while they watch their phone.  The kids run up to an exhibit, punch the buttons, twirl the dials or just grab it and see if it moves.  Then, without seeing what part of science the exhibit may be demonstrating, they run off to the next one.  Lots of noise and voices and more noise.

It was difficult to try to read the exhibit and then figure out what the exhibit was teaching and then impart this to the grand kid in an entertaining way.  Successful? No. Nothing else to do but just punch the buttons and let's move on.

All in all, we had a nice time. However, should we plan this again, I would go on a weekday and I intend to check the parking lot for overcrowding as an indication of a problematic day. 

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