Exploring the Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center
B hugging a cardboard Ernie

I’m terrible at maths. It’s like the numbers drop into a black crevasse, they just vanish. C is v keen to make sure our girls grow up with a better grasp of numbers and science than me, so he suggested a visit to the Liberty Science Center as a good, fun introduction. We can actually see it from our apartment window, across the Hudson River on the edge of Jersey City.

The journey is a bit of a mission, involving a (v posh) ferry from the World Trade Center pier, a light railway, and a walk. The view back across the river was world class.

Fantastic views over the Hudson of Manhattan from Jersey City
Fantastic views over the Hudson of Manhattan from Jersey City. We live in one of those towers.

It was a refreshing change from all the other museums we’ve visited so far here, in that every room had something interactive and carefully arranged for little people. C had many happy flashbacks to his chemical engineering student days, and I enjoyed the pitch black Touch Tunnel. For older/taller kids, there is the Infinity Climber frame suspended a terrifying 35 feet above the central atrium (and encased in wire mesh to prevent accidental plummeting, thankfully). There are also plenty of monkeys, fish and turtles to gaze at if your kids are more into animals. Something for everyone. So much, in fact, you can’t possibly see it all in one day.

Liberty Science Center
V large fish tanks dwarfing little B
Liberty Science Center
Terrifying Infinity Climber for taller kids

We made a bee line for the Sesame Street Body exhibition, guessing it would be the most age-appropriate for our two. The girls were in heaven. My personal favourite was the Count’s Organ Organ, you press a key and a human organ lights up, with Count von Count‘s voice singing about that particular organ. “Intestiiiiiiine.” “Liverrrrrrr”. It was great.

Liberty Science Center
The Count’s Organ Organ

B’s favourite was ‘Digestion with Oscar’, a long model demonstrating the act of eating; pull a lever to make a giant dribbling mouth chew, then over to a bubbling green canister to show digestion and gas, and then turn a screw to make poo. We had to drag her away from that one.

Liberty Science Center
Digestion with Oscar

T was bewitched by the large model river, complete with rain, silt and mechanical diggers. They worked out that they could scoop up handfuls of sand, dump it at the top and then watch the rain make rivulets through it. V satisfying.

Using diggers to shift silt in this model river
Using diggers to shift silt in this model river

Other highlights were a whole exhibit devoted to the Rubiks Cube, learning about molecules through colourful magformer shapes, and a race track powered by solar energy. C was rubbing his hands the whole way round, and the rest of us enjoyed it too. Liberty Science Center, we’ll be back.

Liberty Science Center
Making shapes and building molecules with magformers

Tips if you’re planning to bring your own kids to the Liberty Science Center:

  • It’s pretty pricey to pay for one visit ($70+ for a family of four), especially if you factor in the travel costs too, but the Basic Family membership proves a better value for money at $140 if you think you can visit more than once
  • It’s v pushchair friendly, there are plenty of baby changing rooms and large bathrooms on every floor. The lifts are large too, so several families can pile in at once
  • There’s even a nursing room for breastfeeding mothers – you’ll need to get the key from the Welcome Desk
  • Cafe Skylines is not that nice. Lots of deep fried chicken, hot dogs, pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, with a token salad. Next time, I think I’ll bring packed lunches, as there are picnic areas you can use
T and C
Helping T get a better view of the monkeys

This week’s Highs & Lows:

High: My mother-in-law has arrived for her first long visit. Wonderful to have more family around, it can sometimes feel a little isolated when it’s just the four of us. The girls are adoring having their grandmother around, always game to read extra stories at bedtime.

Also, T asking me why her eyes couldn’t talk on the walk to school this morning. “Why is it just my mouth that can talk, and not the rest of my body?” It made me realise that she is still learning how her body fits together. I love questions like that, giving a sneak peek at how she sees herself.

Low: Jinxing Spring. Three inches of snow falling just days after I blogged about the sound of melting snow. Sorry sorry

 

Author: Alex

Hello. Toddling Round New York is my own little blog of our family’s experience of moving young kids from London to New York… And of having a baby out here. They are my own baby steps of exploring this incredible city. I lived in five countries in four continents growing up, so you’d think I’d be good at this by now.

Here you’ll find stories and photographs of our adventures, the highs and the lows of expat parenthood, and some ideas I hope you’ll find useful if you’re in New York with young kids.

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