We recently had the pleasure of attending a birthday party at Scienceworks, an interactive museum aimed to make learning and exploring all things science fun.
Ground Up - Building Big Ideas, Together
The museum is located across from a century-old pumping station and has a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The standard entry for adults (free for kids under 16) includes access to most of the exhibitions, although the Lightning Room, Planetarium and some special temporary exhibitions are add ons at an extra cost. But there should be plenty of activities and things to see for the kids even with the standard entry ticket.
The first section we visited was the 'Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together' permanent exhibition which caters for toddlers up to 5. The theme is designed to foster STEM skills in kinder and foundation sudents, and has activities ranging from engineering flying contraptions to exploring sounds, lights and solving 3d puzzles.
Scienceworks - building bricks play area
The Sportsworks section is another permanent exhibition which was filled with fun little activities allowing the little ones to explore all things sport and the human body. Some of the exhibits included a running race against Cathy Freeman, soccer goalkeeping practice, virtual snowboarding simulation and all sorts of scales to measure your body.
We also had the pleasure of sitting in on a half an hour show inside the Planetarium, which had pre-recorded audio and visuals projected on a 16 meter domed ceiling. There was also a quick talk from a presenter after the show with some interesting astronomical facts.
Our favorite exhibition hands down would have to be the Lightning room. It was a 30 minute live demonstration on lightning presented by a Scienceworks host, packed with interesting facts and fun little experiments. The finale was none other than a giant tesla coil capable of generating 2 million volts and producing live lightning bolts inside the giant metal cage.
scienceworks - Lightning room
There are also some special exhibitions on offer which change regularly, so the little ones will bound to be entertained each visit.
As we attended the party on the weekend, there were queues for some of the more popular activities, but as with some of the more popular kids attractions in Melbourne, that is to be expected. We'd recommend heading there on a weekday to avoid the crowd if possible.
scienceworks - light visual play
The private birthday party room was a decent size and fit all 15 children without any issues. The catering host were friendly and helped with the setup and serving of the food and drinks, which included mini pizzas, chicken strips, fries, fruit platter and cordial. There was also a sushi platter for the grown ups to munch on after a hard day of wrangling the kids.
All in all, we had a great time at Scienceworks and would definitely come back again for another visit in the near future!