The Liberty Science Center’s new Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit, and more!
Disclosure: I was sent 4 complimentary passes so I could go with my family to visit the Liberty Science Center and check out the new Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit, Star Wars event, and other exhibits … and 4 passes to give away to my readers. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
My family and I were recently invited to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. Though we’d had a membership for a couple of years when the kids were in preschool, we hadn’t ventured to the Liberty Science Center in over a year, so a visit there was long overdue!
After a brief stop for a family photo with R2D2 (more on that below!), we headed to the top floor to check out the new Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit!, which is at the Liberty Science Center from February 6 through May 15, 2016. Just like the award-winning PBS KIDS TV series The Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid, that it is based on, this traveling exhibit builds on children’s natural curiosity about the world around them as they investigate every-day scientific concepts.
My daughter, age 7 ½, was on the older side of the kids exploring the exhibit that day, but that didn’t stop her! She immersed herself in most of the activities in the different environments—kitchen, bedroom, backyard, classroom, and playground. At one section of the kitchen, she was drawn in by an electronic scale and about 10 jars filled with various healthy foods from the pantry: cereal, flour, salt, beans, etc. Her job was to predict which containers weighed the most, then to use the scale to check her predictions. She then tested her sense of smell by trying to identify different spices, and played with patterns with the food in the fridge.
In Sid’s bedroom, our favorite activity asked kids “Is there a machine that can help me put my toys away?” Yes, of course there is! A catapult! She put soft blocks in the shovel propped on the bed, then catapulted them into the toy box on the floor. (I think I need to start using these techniques to get my kids to clean up their room!) In the backyard, my daughter and a couple other kids in the exhibit used another simple machine, a pulley, to hoist a bucket full of Sid’s toys from the floor into the tree house.
My son and husband joined us when we entered the classroom area. Though my son will be 10 in two weeks, and felt a bit out of place in the “little kid” area, he was quickly captivated by several of the activities. First, we checked out the skateboard that demonstrated inertia and tested whether seatbelts really help. The kids placed one stuffed animal on the skateboard, and another under the strap on the skateboard, and then rolled the board along the track. Sure enough, the one not strapped in flew off. Then my kids took it one step further and tried it several times at different speeds to find the fastest speed it could go and still have the unbelted animal stay on the board. This is one of the many great things I love about the Liberty Science Center. Kids of different ages can get a variety of things out of the same exhibit! I’ve definitely seen this by our multiple visits over several years as our kids grow. We can explore the same exhibits and they get something new from it each time!
My kids also spend a lot of time at the microscope area. They placed some of the bug samples (safely contained in plastic cubes!) under the powerful microscope, and saw the zoomed-in image of the bug on the computer screen. They took an up-close look at the scales on butterfly wings, the veins in cicada wings, grasshopper legs, and even their own fingerprints. The three-year-old who was exploring this section with his mom while we were there was also getting a kick out of seeing his fingerprints up close!
Our visit also coincided with the “Science, Sabers, and Star Wars” event, a three-day long Presidents Weekend galactic gathering that explored the science of the popular movie series. Characters from the film wandered around for photo ops. (I’m considering our family photo with R2D2 for next year’s holiday card!) The kids built mini light sabers from glow sticks and duct tape, and they also made straw rockets and launched them at the Death Star. Though this event only lasted through the long weekend, we are definitely going to be on the lookout for other themed weekend events in the future.
In addition to our time at Sid the Science Kid and the Star Wars event, we visited a few favorite spots and some places that were new to us since our last visit. The kids could have spent all day in the Infinity Climber, or the “potato chip thing,” as my kids called it. This incredible mesh of ropes, wires, and stepping stones shaped like potato chips was suspended from the second story as high as 35 feet above the atrium floor. Kids (and adults, too!) can climb up and down the pathways that hang over the other visitors on the floor below. My son enjoyed the challenges in the Action Zone, particularly the virtual reality soccer game and the vertical conveyor belt rock climbing wall which is set to a speed to challenge each kid.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Liberty Science Center, exploring new and long-loved exhibits. I am sure we will be returning soon to see the several areas we didn’t have time to visit this time, including the live animals in Eat and Be Eaten and Our Hudson Home, the pitch black Touch Tunnel, and the Wildlife Challenge outdoor obstacle course, of course!
I was given 4 more complimentary passes to share with my readers. If you live around NJ or close enough for a day trip and are looking for a fun activity for your family, check out the giveaway and enter below. (The passes are good until 12/31/2016)
For more information on the Liberty Science Center, visit