Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Science, Technology, Natural History Museums?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the your-neck-of-the-woods dept.

Education 435

beadfulthings writes "An unexpected windfall has enabled my husband and me to plan a road trip next year. He's expressed a wish to visit some good science, technology, and natural history museums along the way. Of course it's easy to obtain a long list of them via Google, but I'd like some insight and input. What does your area or city in the US or Canada have in the way of science museums? Are they worth traveling to visit? Do you have any particular favorite exhibits or 'must see' recommendations? This man was brought up in Philadelphia and apparently spent most of his boyhood and adolescence at the Franklin Institute and its Fels Planetarium, so I guess that would be his 'gold standard.' I grew up going to the Smithsonian. Any area of science, math, technology, natural history, or even industrial stuff would be fair game. I think we'll probably want to miss out on the 'creation science' stuff."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Indy Children's Museum (3, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044641)

Yes it's a "Kids" museum, but if you like anything hands on, it's awesome. Even to a 25 year old BSME. []

That and the museums in Chicago.

Re:Indy Children's Museum (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044711)

Black Single Male Elephant?

yes, I know.

Re:Indy Children's Museum (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044737)

Bi-Sexual Microsoft Expert.

What? I won't tell, promise. Your secret is safe with me. :P

Re:Indy Children's Museum (3, Funny)

Tybalt_Capulet (1400481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045103)

I was just about to suggest the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Bachelors in science and math education, I think.

Pirates!! (5, Interesting)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044649)

The field museum in Chicago has an exhibit on Pirates (the old-fashioned kind). It's awesome. Go there.

Re:Pirates!! (5, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044693)

I'm not sure why I capitalized "pirates". Probably because they're so awesome.

Re:Pirates!! (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044731)

I jsut assumedn you meant the sports team.

Pirates(the fashonable movie pirates) are awesome...but I think there done for a while. ZOmbies, to.

Chicago. (4, Informative)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044741)

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (5, Informative)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044907)

+1 The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry has several one-of-a-kind exhibits, including a German submarine, a simulated coal mine, and an incredible art-deco streamline modern train.

Re:Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044979)

Don't forget the Ice Cream parlor on the first floor as well, if it is still there.

Re:Chicago. (1)

Gnorme (1086027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044965)

Thoroughly agree with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The U-505 exhibit was amazing.

But remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044889)

Ninjas are superior to pirates.

Re:Pirates!! (2, Informative)

whitefox (16740) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045179)

Even better than Pirates! at the Field Museum [] is the Dinosaur Exhibit [] , Sue [] , the world's largest, most complete and most famous T. Rex., and the Tsavo Lions [] upon which the film "The Ghost and the Darkness [] " was based.

Air & Space Museum (2, Informative)

miowpurr (1004277) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044655)

The Saturn 5 exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in DC is my fave exhibit, but the entire museum is not to be missed. The IMAX theater is great too, unless you get motion sick.

Re:Air & Space Museum (2, Informative)

tekumel (1526803) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044853)

The Air & Space Museum is wonderful; almost equally so is the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center ( [] ) in Hutchinson, KS which is an hour and thirteen minutes away from Wichita as Google Maps calculates it. Other than the space race artifact exhibits, it has an entertaining (though childish) show about rocketry posed as Dr. Goddard's Lab, a couple of good planetarium shows, and an IMAX theater whose schedule rotates.

Re:Air & Space Museum (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045073)

I live in Georgia, but visited Louisville a few times when I was little (early 90's). The museum there isn't big, but is (was?) very nice. My favorite room was the technology room, which had a bike with the pedals hooked up to a generator with a light bulb and fan; a telephone exhibit, complete with relay set; and the Whisper Dishes high up in opposite corners, which could be used to talk in a normal voice to someone across the (60-foot diagonal) room.

It's probably very different now. I better find out what they have.

Re:Air & Space Museum (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045209)

If you go to DC, head out to the airport -- Air & Space has another branch of the museum with the Enterprise, an F-35, and a half-dozen other prizes that you don't see scattered elsewhere around the country.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044669)

People still go to museums?

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044933)

They even have a museum of people who used to go to museums. Make sure you're out before closing time.

Body Worlds! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044685)

I saw the Body Worlds exhibit at the Denver Natural History museum a couple years ago, and I LOVED it! It was so fascinating to see the inner-workings of the human body. It is definitely a must-see... head over to to see schedule info, as they tour around the world.

Re:Body Worlds! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044905)

Yes Body Worlds is amazing! I think Body Worlds will be in Toronto's Ontario Science Centre [] starting October 9.

Here's a map [] .

We have a little place called the Smithsonian (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044691)

Here in Washington, DC. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Re:We have a little place called the Smithsonian (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044855)

Submitter: "I grew up going to the Smithsonian." Perhaps you read the question?

The Henry Ford (5, Informative)

plnb (579253) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044695)

The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan has a large variety of automobile, historical, and industrial/manufacturing exhibits. []

Re:The Henry Ford (1)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045177)

Miss read that as Henry Jones and was thinking how odd it is that there is a museum made after a fictional character...

Re:The Henry Ford (4, Informative)

bfields (66644) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045201)

The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan

Yep, agreed on that recommendation. It's a bit old-fashioned in places: some of it's just big collections of stuff without much explanation. But that can be fun too (and it's not all that way.)

And the adjoining Greenfield Village has tons of technological history. Last time I was there I got a kick out of seeing a Jacquard Loom they were in the process of renovating. (And the guy there with it was knowledgeable and interesting.)

Sounds like you probably already know the Smithsonian, but: I always take people to the National Building Museum. Neat, fun place, and easy for tourists to overlook.

Balboa Park (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044699)

Balboa Park in San Diego, CA is a fun destination with several museums.

RandomDude (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044715)

Washington DC: Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian

Cambridge: MIT museum is really interesting. They have a 12 ft slide rule, and some other curiosities

New York: Natural history museum is really good

Re:RandomDude (2, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044913)

I don't think the Holocaust Museum counts as either science, technology, or natural history.

However, to add another to this list which also doesn't strictly fit that requirement, I'd add the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Despite the name, it's really more of an anthropology museum, with some fantastic ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek exhibits and artifacts.

I'd also add the Star Trek exhibit in Las Vegas, but they closed that and it's now on tour. :-)

Re:RandomDude (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044917)

While you're in Cambridge, hit the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Boston Children's Museum, and Museum of Science.

Creation Museum! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044719)

Make sure and visit and get answers to all your questions about spaghetti and pirates.

Boston (2, Informative)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044727)

I've always been a fan of the huge Van de Graaf generator in the Boston Science Museum. Also they may have a display of flayed people there - I don't remember.

Re:Boston (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045147)

seconded. Also their Mugar Omni Theater is always good, and the rotating exhibition halls always have good stuff. What's most impressive to me though are the permanent exhibits. I've gone there for years and never tired of them. As was mentioned, the Van de Graaf generator is unreal (donated by MIT). The mathematics exhibit is also fun, if you enjoy that sort of thing. They have many rube goldberg machines. The planetarium is ok, and have frequent laser shows. It's worth a stop for sure.

Kansas (1)

escay (923320) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044729)

I think we'll probably want to miss out on the 'creation science' stuff

really? i'd think that would be most fun, besides being a wonderful exercise in critical thinking. i'm not an advocate of 'creation science' but to see what their view of the zoological world is would be very interesting.

Re:Kansas (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044949)

You can read all about that crap online, without wasting lots of money, time, and fuel on a physical trip. Slashdot has already had articles on it, showing photos of their stupid exhibits showing humans and dinosaurs living together, etc.

A trip to Roswell, NM, to the UFO Museum would be more fun and interesting, and probably more realistic and probable too.

Re:Kansas (2, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045025)

I agree with you; even if you don't agree with it, there is nothing wrong with viewing the other side. In fact, a true scientist would rationally consider all viewpoints equally, rather than excluding one because it doesn't agree with common beliefs.
Worst case scenario, you get a barrel of laughs.

Re:Kansas (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045205)

to see what their view of the zoological world is would be very interesting.

Answer: God made it.

It's not all that interesting a viewpoint. My grandpa sent me a few books recently on evolution (after I stopped attending church last year), and the ways in which creationists try to use science to prove their points would be hilarious if it weren't so depressing. In a couple of the books people who clearly don't understand the difference between open/closed systems try to use the laws of thermodynamics to disprove evolution. It's pathetic. Life exists and evolves in a kind of battle against entropy sure, but it doesn't defy the laws of thermodynamics because the earth is getting new energy from Sol all the time. They also claim that evolution via random mutation is simply impossible, even though a scientist last year demonstrated that bacteria can evolve new traits from a series of presumably random mutations [] . I hope more people do as I have done and learn to just accept the truth (even if it means admitting a lot of their life thus far was based on a lie) rather than fighting a worthless battle against it.

The Geek Atlas (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044767)

Check out The Geek Atlas [] by John Graham-Cumming.

where do you live now? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044771)

Kind of important information, IMO.

I live just outside of DC, and as you probably are well aware, there's literally MONTHS worth of things to see/information in the museums here in the metro area.

if you're road tripping from the NE, head for the Southwest. There are more ruins than you can shake a stick at out there.

Ontario Science Centre (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044775)

The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is really wicked. It also has new exhibits all the time. However, the Centre tends to have more of a kids focus, although they do have really cool exhibits on that are very adult-oriented like Dr. Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds [] exhibition happening this season.

Udvar-Hazy (2, Informative)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044779)

If you make it to the DC area and like the Air & Space museum on the National Mall, take a day to visit the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space museum where they have everything they couldn't fit into the National Mall site. []

Re:Udvar-Hazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045253)

As a bonus, Transformers 2 was filmed in and took place in the Udvar-Hazy A&S Museum. On opening day, Transformers 2 played in the IMAX at Udvar-Hazy, so you could see Transformers in the museum, and the museum in Transformers.

American Museum of Natural History (2, Informative)

pertinax18 (569045) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044785)

The American Museum of Natural History (with the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium) in NYC is always a reliable bet. I would definitely put it on a must see list of museums in this country. There is also the Museum of Sex, which you might find interesting.

Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044799)

The Udvar-Hazy Center (Smithsonian Air & Space Annex) is a must see if you're near DC. []

Attractions include a space shuttle, a Concorde, an SR-71 Blackbird and hundreds of other aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, engines and so on. Also has a 6-story IMAX.

SciTrek in Atlanta used to be a winner but I hear they closed.

The U of Hawaii telescope at the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii is a neat thing to go see, but it is only rarely open to the public so schedule carefully. Plus how many places can you drive from sea level to 13,000 feet in just a few hours?

Re:Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045013)

If you're into aviation, and on the West Coast, don't miss the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. It also sports an SR-71 Blackbird, various fighters and bombers (mostly US, but a few Russian) including the entire "Century Series" (F-100 - F-110 I think), JFK's Air Force One plane, and lots of other unique and interesting airplanes.

You might want to wait until the fall or winter though, because it's mostly an outdoor museum, and it's really hot in AZ right now.

NYC: American Museum of Natural History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044803)

Highlights are the rocks & minerals exhibit, the Human Evolution exhibit, and the Hayden planetarium, plus they invariably have some interesting special exhibit or other going on. And don't miss the whale!

Best museums to see (4, Informative)

ForexCoder (1208982) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044807)

Exploratorium [] in San Francisco
Balboa Park [] in San Diego
Museum of Science and Industry [] in Chicago
Kennedy Space Center [] in Florida

Re:Best museums to see (1)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044961)

+1 Exploratorium This was one of the first hands-on science museums, and retains its anarchic hippie charm to this day. It's planning a move from its cavernous home at the Palace of Fine Arts in a few years, so you'd have the bonus of catching it in its original digs. Make sure and reserve a tour of the Tactile Dome in advance.

Re:Best museums to see (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044969)

I would recommend against going to the Kennedy Space Centre. It was very expensive to get in. The queues tended to be long, and exhibits were disappointing. The bus drivers were interesting to talk to though.

Re:Best museums to see (1)

bdowd (159289) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045217)

Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Fernbank 500 seat Planetarium, DeKalb County (Atlanta, GA)
70 foot dome and Mark V Zeiss projector. They also have an IMAX theatre. Pretty nice stuff! []

Re:Best museums to see (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045263)

Griffith Observatory (Los Angeles).

Where are you going? (1)

hardie (716254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044823)

Boston Museum of Science is pretty good, we've gone several times a year since moving to New England.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science has some excellent natural science displays. Great dinosaur exhibit, watch out for that giant pig, a really scary animal.
Yale's Peabody museum has the Zalinger murals, Age of Reptiles and Age of Mammals, which I've always wanted to see in person. I don't know about the rest of the museum, but I bet it's pretty good.
Monterey Bay Aquarium blows the competitors away.
There are *lots* of Indian ruins in New Mexico/Utah area. Drawings on rock walls, cliff dwellings, etc. Have a reliable car and carry some water.
Monument Valley is in northern Arizona, lots of weird rock locations in Utah.


The Computer History Museum (USA) (5, Informative)

bezenek (958723) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044825)

The Computer History Museum is free and has an unbelievable collection of computer artifacts. It is in the Bay Area, so there are lots of other things you can see in San Francisco, San Jose, etc. I will leave recommendation of those up to others who will certainly chime in.

Here is a link to the museum: []

Enjoy your trip!


Re:The Computer History Museum (USA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045033)

Nearby there is also The Tech, in San Jose. Great museum of experimental science.

Computers, nukes, and pinball! (5, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045045)

(These are a few of my favorite things :)

I second the Computer History Museum [] , Mountain View, California.

Everything from a working Difference Engine to the Crays and Connection Machines that we kids dreamed about in the 80s. A fully-functional PDP-1; it still plays Slug Russel's "Space War". Within an hour's drive of anywhere in the Bay Area.

I'll see your computers and raise you some nukes. Next time you're in Vegas for some trade show or conference, take a day and see the Atomic Testing Museum [] , Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thankfully, there's nothing fully-functional here, but there lots of fascinating artifacts nonetheless. Everything from Einstein's letter to Roosevelt, to bits and pieces of a NERVA nuclear rocket prototype, to engineers' notebooks filled with humorous mementos of projects they'd worked on, to Doc Edgerton's impossibly-fast cameras. Within a 10 minute cab ride from the Strip.

Although both museums have material suitable for laypeople and/or children, they're targeted primarily at adults with engineering backgrounds. Expect to spend at least 3 hours at each of 'em.

Nukes are pretty cool, but you can have a lot more fun with a bunch of used pinball machine parts. And everything is fully functional in the Pinball Hall of Fame [] . Hey, you're already in Vegas -- flashing lights and wacky sounds are what it's all about. You won't need a DeLorean to go back in time, and it'll cost a lot less per hour than the blackjack tables.

Re:The Computer History Museum (USA) (1)

Tybalt_Capulet (1400481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045261)

I always joked that my 5 1/4 floppies could go to a museum, and I guess I was right.

Deutsches Museum at Munich (1)

paai (162289) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044831)

I don't know if your trip extends to Europe, but if it does, the Deutches Museum at Munich is probably the best museum in its kind that I have seen (and yes, I have seen the Smithsonian too).

Imagine a leading industrial nation that lost two wars, but still is one of the richest countries of the world. Imagine the urge that possesses such a nation to show the world that it still counts as a leading nation in this and other fields. Imagine (almost) unlimited funds. Now you have the Deutsches Museum.

Re:Deutsches Museum at Munich (1)

chiph (523845) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045117)

Another vote for Deutsches Museum. Awesome place - easily a two day trip by itself.

I have a photo of me standing inside the core of a CRAY-1, and another standing next to the operator console of a System 360.

Check their operating times before going -- if I recall correctly, they tend to close on religious holidays (ehh, Bavaria!)

Chip H.

New York Hall of Science (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044833)

New York Hall of Science [] []

its on the old world's fair grounds seen in Men in Black. It is one of the few remaining structures from the worlds fair that is still in good repair.

Recomendations for the SE Michigan/Detroit area (2, Informative)

ArmchairAstronomer (724678) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044835)

Two places in Southeast Michiagan are definately worth a visit. Caranbrook Institute of Science in Birmingham, small but well put together scinece museum and the magnificent Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. The Henry Ford has the best car collection anywhere as well as a great history of technolgy collection. If you like you can do the Greenfiled Village next door and see what daily life and technolgy were like at the turn of the 20th century. The Detroit Science center is just OK but the nearby Detroit Art Museum is great. BTW I also endorse the recomendation of the Field in Chicago... First rate.

Royal Ontario Museum (1)

dexmachina (1341273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044839)

The ROM (in Toronto) is quite good for natural history/anthropology. Some nice dinosaurs, etc., good exhibits on various world cultures, and right now they have the Dead Sea Scrolls on loan. Plus, the Ontario Science Centre isn't far and is also fun.

Chicago... (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044845)

Chicago is an excellent destination for museums. The Museum of Science and Industry would be along the lines of the Franklin Institue, Field Museum is good for natural history, Shedd's Aquarium is alright, you can even check out the Art Institute if you decide the right side of your brains need some stimulation.

Benefit of going to the source (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044857)

I have found some benefit to going to the place where the technology was created. For instance, if I was more interested in history I would certainly have been to Philadelphia.

As I am ore interested in technology, I have visited NASA Houston and Cape Canaveral. Though the displays are often very kiddie centered, seeing the original mission control is worth the trip. As long one is in Houston, the Museum of Health is worth a trip, as well as the other 5-10 museums in the area. One of the best is the Menil Collection which is a testement to the social value of oil money. The Menil is a collection of several indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

I would also recommend the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, yes the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque. It has artifacts I have not seen elsewhere, such as fully reconstructed planes and missles. Way cool. Of course, the Trinity site is also a museum piece, though I have never been able to make it. It is only open twice a year.

Creation Museum (Petersburg, KY) (-1, Flamebait)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044871)

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY is bound to be educational, one way or the other. Only 30 minutes from downtown Cincinnati!

Re:Creation Museum (Petersburg, KY) (-1, Flamebait)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045087)

+1 for this idea, even though you said you'd probably skip this kinda of thing. Its not just a bunch of wild pseudo-science like some Creation Museums; they have some really good exhibits showing documented evidence which supports the Creationist view. Even if you don't agree with the viewpoint, seeing the other side is always educational and may help soften the image of Creationists being crazy fools with their heads in the clouds.

If you're passing through Minnesota... (2, Informative)

Pollux (102520) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044873)

Then go see the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis [] . I've been there numerous times ever since I was a kid, all the way through adulthood. Loved it every time.

Chicago and Los Alamos (1)

jswanson (935561) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044883)

I would also recommend the Field Museum in Chicago, but first see the Museum of Science and Industry. C'mon they have a German U505 sub! I just got a chance to visit the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos NM and would highly recommend it--if your interest extends to nuclear physics. The museum is somewhat small, but Fat Man and Little Boy replicas were interesting. Seeing the bombs in person made them seem more "real" to me. I always imagined them much bigger. Los Alamos itself is very unique in many ways.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology (1)

savi (142689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044893)

It's a museum for people who enjoy thinking about museums. []

The longer you're there, the more you'll realize that what's on display isn't the point, but HOW it's displayed. Also, they have a tea room upstairs that serves "real" tea, cookies, and occasionally live accordion music.

Start off or end up at the mutter museum (1)

my_left_nut (1161359) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044915)

The Mutter Museum [] is right in downtown Philly, you should check it out before you leave or when you get back.

It's chock full of medical curiosities. I think it is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. A must see.

Bay Area: Three Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044941)

My three nominations, in order of preference:

1. Exploratorium, San Francisco. Aimed at kids but way more fun for curious adults, this science museum features hundreds of hands-on exhibits that demonstrate just about every area of science you can think of. My favourites are the muon detector, the giant spherical mirror and the tactile dome.

2. Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. This just reopened a year ago after it was completely rebuilt from the ground-up to be one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the country. Highlights include the aquarium (which occupies an entire floor by itself), the indoor tropical rainforest, the living roof and the state-of-the-art digital planetarium.

3. Computer History Museum, San Jose. Covers just about every moment in computing history, and includes a working Babbage engine and a project to reconstruct an original PDP-1.

Don't forget to check for special events/lectures (1)

cain (14472) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044947)

Once you've figured out where and when, don't forget to check for lectures and special events at the places you're visiting. They may not be as heavily publicized as the "normal" exhibitions. I live in Manhattan and regularly attend evening events and lectures and the Natural History museum here. A few months ago I saw the Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) there. Last week I went to a digital universe presentation in the on motion of bodies in space. Who knows, you may get lucky and see something great.

nc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29044951)

discovery in Charlotte = crap
life and science in durham = wonderful

Chicago Museums (1)

CaptCrunk (859386) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044957)

Chicago does have the Museum of Science and Industry [] , but also houses the Field Museum [] , Adler Planetarium [] , and the Shedd Aquarium [] . While it seems that this would be less interesting, it's worth mentioning the Chicago Art Institute [] too. All of these museums are fairly close to each other (with the exception of the Museum of Science and Industry).

Ontario (canada) + alberta (1)

AlizarinCrimson (1548857) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044983)

Ontatio: The ROM (Royal Ontatrio Museum) -Toronto []
The Science Center -Toronto []

Science North -Sudbury []

Alberta has The Royal Tyrell Museum of Palentolgy (which may still have day trips in to the bad lands to active dig sites where you get to help). []

AMNH & Mutter (1)

drunken_boxer777 (985820) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044989)

My two favorites are the American Museum of Natural History [] in NYC and the Mutter Museum [] in Philadelphia.

The AMNH is enormous; you could easily spend an entire day there, and you'd be hard-pressed to see everything in detail. It has the best dinosaur and primate sections I've ever seen.

The Mutter is just plain cool: a museum devoted to medical oddities, like the skeleton(s) of Cheng & Eng, the 'Siamese twins'. As a PhD-wielding developmental biologist and geneticist I was happy to see some medical information on the various diseases or developmental problems that are on display. Sadly, you cannot take photos; they prefer you purchase their (expensive) photo book.

Geek Atlas.. (1)

CBung (1572609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29044991)

There was a Geek Atlas review posted very recently, try that.

Washington D.C, NewYork, San Diego, Baltimore (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045001)

Washington D.C. = Smithsonian Institution - Natural History Museum

NewYork = Can't remember, but good museums

San Diego = Balboa Park

Baltimore = Baltimore Aquarium

Aviation/Space (1)

airos4 (82561) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045003)

Liberty Science Center in Jersey is pretty decent, and has the advantage of being right near the Statue so you can do that too.
If you're aviation/space types, I recommend the Air Force Museum in Ohio. []

There's also the NASA sites - Houston and Canaveral both have extensive places to walk around and see things.

OMSI (1)

ink (4325) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045023)

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry [] is incredible. I go there every time I visit Portland. I put it ahead of any technology museums in the surrounding states, including my native California.

Not a museum, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045037)

I'm going to go OT, and suggest that if you're into the science museum thing, you might also consider checking out some of the contemporary world technology marvels, like coal mining in Wyoming, or copper mining in Arizona, or Hoover Dam, or go watch the Space Shuttle take off. Maybe that's not your game, who knows. Extra added benefit: more fresh air than most museums have to offer.

Museums, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045039)

Air Force Museum outside of Dayton, OH. Allow 2 days.

If planetariums are of special interest, the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh is somewhat unique, in that its projector is a mid-30's Zeiss "dogbone". I don't believe there are any others left.

Museum of Transport (1)

ozarkcanoer (808891) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045051)

In Saint Louis county Missouri is the Museum of Transport with lots of trains, streetcars, autos. Kids love it. []

Boston Museum of Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045061)

I started going there as a child...if anything, the must-see attraction is the gigantic room-sized Van DeGraff has to be seen to be believed. It's active, as well.

Cincinnati's Union Terminal! (1)

memoryhole (3233) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045075)

Maybe it's because I grew up there, but I've always had a soft spot for Cincinnati's Union Terminal. It's a collection of museums: they have a Children's Museum in the basement (lots of fun with balls, water, and a nice big tree-like playground thingy), a Cincinnati Historical Society Museum (starts with a giant miniature recreation of Cincinnati, lots of WWII history, and includes a full-size recreation of Cincinnati's steamboat days), and a Natural History Museum (some very excellent versions of pretty standard exhibits, including a very nice walk-through cave, walk-through glacier, and some neat human-body exhibits designed for kids (but that I find fun nevertheless)). And, of course, there's the full-on old-style spherical OmniMAX theatre that just can't be beat for giving you vertigo. Add to all that the fact that Union Terminal itself is pretty interesting---it's an old train station with huge murals and an enormous lobby.

I'm not saying it's the greatest museum ever; but it's well-done, has three museums in a single building, and I always have a good time when I go.

Does the windfall stretch to flight? (1)

philwebs (704989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045081)

If you want to see real museums go to Europe. The US has been around only a very short time. Londons museums are huge. You will need a week to skim each one. La Louvre in Paris is on many floors, and each wing is well in excess of a mile. Museums in Europe have stuff going back millenia, not just 200 years or so.

Bear in mind the Europeans helped themselves to other countries treasures in days of empire. Even European cities go back in many cases to Roman times.

Just suggesting that the world is not just the US.


Pacific NorthWest Aviation Museums (1)

mike.rimov (1148959) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045107)

-Boeing Museum in Seattle []
Fairly small, but has a lot of early pioneer planes hanging there.

-Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinville Oregon (About 1 hr south of Portland) [] (It houses Howard Hughes' famed 'Spruce Goose'... you'll never understand just how huge that puppy is until you're nose-to-nose with it.)

Re:Pacific NorthWest Aviation Museums (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045239)

-Boeing Museum in Seattle []
Fairly small, but has a lot of early pioneer planes hanging there.


The Boeing Factory tour in Everett is the biggest building in the world. It can hold Disneyland and still leave 12 acres for parking.

It is an absolute must-see tour if you have any interest at all in science or technology. They are assembling AIRPLANES in front of you and they are doing it on an assembly line. No stories I have ever seen or heard showed me the raw power of the United States like that tour. (I'm Canadian) I won't spoil it for you, though. You've got to fill in the blanks yourself.

The website you are looking for the the Future of Flight [] tour. The museum of flight is about 45 minutes to the south of the factory, and I'm sure it's very nice.

San Antonio and Denver (1)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045111)

If you pass San Antonio, visit the Witte Museum. They tend to get the major touring exhibits (the plastinated Human Body exhibits, animatronic dinosaurs, Egyptian artifacts/mummies).

If you pass Denver, stop by their natural history museum (and their zoo too, if you have the time). I was only there for a week on business once, but made it a point to visit both. It was well worth it.

City Museum In Saint Louis Mo (1)

ters a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!* (1177175) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045127)

It 's a sculpture museum mixed with a chuckie cheese

Creation Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045133)

Last summer I took a long roadtrip, met a girl who participated in a little, uh, creation science with me. It was pretty awesome.

fishes in atlanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29045187)

the aquarium in atlanta is amazing.
since there's little else in the city worthwhile, stop in and spend some time.

I used to work at the Franklin Institute (1)

CuriousKangaroo (543170) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045189)

I used to work at the Franklin Institute, so my recommendations are based on that. I'd like to say that while I love the American Museum of Natural History in New York, it doesn't have the same kind of interactivity. The Exploratorium in San Francisco does, although I don't remember it being as large at the Franklin Institute. It did have some very cool unique exhibits I hadn't seen elsewhere. I quite liked the Boston Museum of Science - very similar to the Franklin Institute in many ways, so your husband may like it a lot. The Liberty Science Center in New Jersey was opened by ex-Franklin Instituters, I believe, but the last time I went (admittedly, something like nine years ago), many of the exhibits were in terrible disrepair.

My favorites, (kind of) local to Philly (1)

Naurgrim (516378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045223)

The American Museum of Natural History of course, the NJ State Aquarium - excellent main tank, cool jelly-fish and some of the few dragon fish in captivity (it's in Camden, so watch your step!) and the Edison Museum.

Information Age exhibit (1)

bokmann (323771) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045227)

I have no idea if its still there, but the American History Museum in DC had an Information Age exhibit that was there for at least 8 years... started with an exhibit where you could speak over the actual wire Bell used for his first phone, through pieces of eniac, other huge bohemoth computers, an Enigma (cipher machine from WWII), A TRS-80 Model 1, An Apple I, through modern computers, and ending ith HDTV exhibit (before HDTV was commonly available). I loved that exhibit.

Recommendations? Seriously? (1)

lord sibn (649162) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045251)

Okay, fair enough question to ask. But there is a stipulation that you want to avoid "creationist museums" is exactly the same as an avid follower of fox news refusing to accept the BBC as a valid authority for no reason other than "I don't believe that."

As for me? I expose myself to every input, at every venue I possibly can. Whether I disagree with the source is another matter, but *ignoring* the source is tantamount to saying that "I have made up my mind, and I believe your opinions are of utter disinterest."

Personally, I may not agree with the person I am talking to/hearing from, but "communication" is worthless if you choose to ignore the other person/people.

Communication is little more than the exchange of ideas, and lots of ideas are ones with which you will disagree. However, by ignoring this input, you are no better than those who do the same. You have already made up your mind, I do not think that being brainwashed is a legitimate fear. Be the bigger man. That's all I have to say about that.

Technology? (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045257)

National Air Force Museum [] , Dayton, Ohio. Everything from a Wright Flyer to a Mach 3 XB-70 Valkyre and all in between.

In the Okla. City area there is (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 5 years ago | (#29045265)

Sam Noble Museum of Natural History [] in Norman (OU Campus)

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum []

The Oklahoma City National Memorial [] and museum about bombing

45th Infantry Division Museum [] - lots of good WWII stuff

Oklahoma Railway Museum [] if you like old trains, and

The Red Earth Museum [] with Native American traditional and contemporary culture and arts

There's more, just use google maps!

Come on by! Bring money and spend it!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?