Science World is a “must-do” if you are visiting Vancouver, BC with a toddler. It’s such a well-thought out museum with tons of things for children and adults. Even if you aren’t a fan of science museums, it’s a fun place to play with your kids. We checked it out last year when our toddler was 2 years old and we returned this year when he was almost 3 years old along with our 2-month-old baby.
We arrived right when they opened at 10am on a Sunday for a fun activity to do before we drove back home to Seattle. We easily found parking in their paid lot and loaded up our stroller. If we had gone in the summer, we would have skipped the stroller, but we wanted a place to stash our heavy coats and the diaper bag and the camera bag. Since we are members at the Museum of Flight in Seattle (a partner museum), we just showed our membership cards and we were able to enter for free.
Since we had been before, we headed straight to the Kidspace exhibit area on the 2nd floor. It’s a room geared for kids ages 6 and under and is filled with hands-on activities including climbing structures, building blocks, science experiments and more. My toddler spent almost an hour playing with a red boat in the water table. They have smocks in all different sizes and styles so kids can protect their clothing from getting too wet. They also have lots of small step stools. Inside the water table, they have small pieces of plastic where kids can create water streams to put their boats on and race down to the end.
Once he had thoroughly enjoyed the water table, he decided he wanted to do the face-painting. I liked that the face painters asked if he’d like it on his hand or face. My son prefers getting it on his hand so he can look at it throughout the day. He opted for Santa Claus and we were impressed how well it came out.
The next big hit were the virtual drums. They had circles on the floor that lit up when stepped on and made sounds. Some of them made drum sounds and some told jokes or made funny sounds. I sat there and watched almost every kid (and several adults) hop on them as they walked through the area.
One of my favorite things about this museum is that my husband enjoys it as much as our toddler! It’s fun to hear him explain the physics behind some of the stuff while my toddler pays close attention. Then, they end up laughing because they are having so much fun! It’s cute to see my husband get distracted trying to “win” at all of the stations while my toddler is ready to explore the next area.
The big hit for both of them was a large stand where they turned steering wheels to get the propellers to move, which moved the entire base around (like a merry-go-round.) My son spent about 45 minutes doing this by himself, with my husband and with other children. At one point a young toddler was placed on the base and she just was there for the ride! It was really cool to see my toddler study the whole thing and experimenting with changing the direction of the wheel to see what would happen.
4 Tips for Science World with Babies + Toddlers
- Plan for a half-day. There are so many fun things to do at Science World that you will stay longer than you think. It’s a great way to spend the morning and early afternoon or late afternoon and early evening.
- Bring membership cards from other museums. We belong to the Museum of Flight in Seattle and Science World is one of their partner museums so our admission was free. If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to ask or you can look it up online.
- There’s a nursing room in the Kidspace exhibit. There are two easy chairs in there, a Kangaroo Kare changing station, an end table with magazines, wooden toys for older tots and a one-way window so you can see what’s going on in the Kidspace area. It’s also plenty big enough for a double stroller. The only thing it doesn’t have is a trash can.
- The water table makes the floor slippery. My son slipped several times on the floor near the water table in his rain boots. They have a mat and caution cones set up, but excited toddlers tend to move around quickly. Keep a close eye on kids!