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Scienceworks - Museum Victoria

Home > Melbourne > Family | Fun Things To Do | Museums | School Holiday Activities
by Deborah Jayne (subscribe)
Motto: Have a plan and be prepared.
Published September 26th 2014
What is SCIENCEWORKS?

SCIENCEWORKS is a division of Museums Victoria.

SCIENCEWORKS is a fun, interactive environment offering a blend of viewable memorabilia and hands-on experiences. Patrons are encouraged to seek, explore and experiment their way through the exhibits, which are divided into several sections.



Entry to SCIENCEWORKS includes unlimited access to their regular displays, along with some temporary exhibits, which are changed every few months. Details of temporary exhibits are provided on the SCIENCEWORKS website. Some special features may be at an additional charge.

Visitors can participate in guided tours, see a live demonstration or shows and buy tickets to both the Planetarium (Movies projected onto a domed ceiling) and the Lightning Room (Experience real lightning behind the safety of a cyclone fence).

Things to See and Do

The Planetarium

The Melbourne Planetarium is an experience not to be missed. Recline back and watch a short movie and presenter led demonstration of the night sky projected onto the dome shaped ceiling. Some of the features are produced in association with NASA.



Features are shown on the hour and tickets must be bought in advance either online or upon entry.

Features will be classified due to suitability for different ages and synopsises can be viewed on the Planetarium webpage.

Please note: Flashing shoes interfere with the projected images. Flashing shoes must be taken off or the wearer will be asked to leave.

This exhibit is not really suitable for toddlers. It is a small, very quiet, intimate environment (imagine being inside a large egg).

Note: If you leave the Planetarium during the show, you cannot come back in.

The Lightning Room

The Lightning Room features shows on the hour. Tickets must be bought in advance either online or upon entry.

Presenter led, there were two, 30-minute shows to choose from on the day we went. Really, the kids just wanted to see some lightning. They only fired up the lightening machine twice during our show, "Amps, Arcs & Sparks", which was more about how sound travels.

Scienceworks Lightning Room
Scienceworks Lightning Room


The lightning strikes specific objects, demonstrating the effect of lightening on various structures and the human body.

The lightning is very loud and patrons are encouraged to cover their ears. Some children may become distressed, however my six-year old was fine.

Regular exhibits

Mathamazing – Interactive, fun displays based in mathematic application. Great family based activities where parents and kids must work together to solve mathematical problems.

Nitty Gritty Super City – A children's wonderland. From the 'music room' where loud, unrestricted 'music' is encouraged, to information about recycling. Build your own city, with working wheelbarrows, cranes and bricks. Build your own bridge using foam blocks. Try out the giant sized screwdrivers and spanners to turn the huge bolts. Animals on display along with an amazing Lego replica of Melbourne inside a glass viewing chamber. Fun for the youngest member of the family.

Sportsworks – Similar to the sports museum beneath the MCG. Race Cathy Freeman. Try your soccer, basketball & baseball skills with interactive screens. Try wheelchair racing. Sit in a canoe and learn about optical illusions. Fun for all ages.

Think Ahead – A fairly new exhibit with a life-sized C3PO, teleporter and sound room. Walk through the inside of a space ship as it rolls around, giving you the sensation of being in outer space. Check out the futuristic, electric cars or design your own car of the future.

The Pumping Station – Take a walk through these lovely old buildings and see the pumps in action. Visual and historical displays only.
**Venue also available for function hire.
 

What to wear

Wear comfortable footwear as you are on your feet virtually all day.

A coat in cooler months as all food must be consumed outside (Café area excluded).

As SCIENCEWORKS is predominantly indoors, heavy rains would not restrict overall enjoyment. In fact,
SCIENCEWORKS is a great rainy day adventure.

What to Take

A picnic lunch and drink bottle are highly recommended.

Warm clothes / coat in cooler weather.

Hand sanitiser: The interactive displays are touched by many hands.

Camera: SCIENCEWORKS is very colourful and provides hundreds of photo opportunities.

Access

SCIENCEWORKS is situated both indoors and outdoors and is spread over several levels. There is a lift and ramps provided for wheelchairs, pushers and strollers.

ADDED NOTE: On busy days, getting around with a wheelchair or large stroller will prove difficult due to crowd numbers and the structure of the hands on activities. Toddlers may prefer to be free to roam and play, but be warned, keeping track of kids during peak times is difficult. However, there are plenty of SCIENCEWORKS staff on hand at all times to help explain and monitor displays, and the environment generally was family oriented.

Eating at SCIENCEWORKS

There is one café at SCIENCEWORKS with limited indoor and outdoor seating. SCIENCEWORKS is isolated at the end of a quiet street. There are no food facilities, cafes or restaurants within walking distance.

There is one BBQ facility (with two hot plates) located by the red train playground (Northern end), with a very limited number of unsheltered picnic tables.

I'd encourage you to take a simple picnic lunch. The car park is close enough that I'd recommend retrieving food at lunchtime rather than lugging it around.

Eating is prohibited inside the gallery. There is a covered, outdoor amphitheatre (Concrete steps beneath a canopy) where you can sit and eat. It's not terribly clean or the nicest environment, mostly due to the birds.

There is also a very limited number of (uncovered) bench seats around the grassed 'arena'.

Alternatively, you could take your own table and chairs, or preferably just a blanket, and eat on the grass in the warmer months.

Shopping

The souvenir shop is well stocked with educational kits and toys, along with plenty of fun stuff and even dress-ups. Some items are available from the online shop.


Telephone: 9392 4800
Bookings & Enquiries (Vic only) 13 11 02

Parking at SCIENCEWORKS

There is outdoor parking in front of the venue.
All day ticket - $2.00
There is also free, unrestricted parking along Hudsons Road.

Ticket Prices

General Entry to SCIENCEWORKS Only
Adults: $14.00
Children: Free
Concession: Free
Optional Extras
Planetarium Show: Adults $6.00, Children $4.50, Concession $5.00
Lightening Room: Adults $6.00, Children $4.50, Concession $5.00

MV Members Entry to SCIENCEWORKS Only
Adults: Free
Children: Free
Concession: Free
Optional Extras
Planetarium Show: Adults $3.00, Children $2.25, Concession $2.50
Lightning Room: Adults $3.00, Children $2.25, Concession $2.50

Conclusion

SCIENCEWORKS is nowhere near as big as the Melbourne Museum, but take your time travelling through the exhibits and try to experience as much as possible. With visits to the Planetarium & Lightning Room, it is certainly an all day event.

What to do afterward?

If you're not local, it's worth making the short trip into Williamstown. Walk down the pier and see the boats moored, along with an excellent view of Melbourne CBD.

At Williamstown we saw huge cargo ships, an aircraft carrier, and even took a tour of the anti-whaling boats docked there the day we went.

** Information centre located at Williamstown.
Near the pier is a tourist information centre. There is also a large park with rotunda, playground and toilet facilities.

Dine at one of the fresh seafood restaurants, Italian restaurants, including La Porchetta, or choose from one of the local fish'n'chip traders and enjoy dinner in the park. There are also some traditional ice cream parlours and an old-fashioned lolly shop for an afternoon treat.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Book seats aboard the Titanic Restaurant located in Williamstown and experience life on board the doomed vessel for yourself. Advance reservations strongly recommended as this is a much sought after dining experience.

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When: Daily 10am – 4.30pm
Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day
Where: 2 Booker Street, Spotswood, Victoria 3015
Cost: Adults: $14 Children/Concessions: Free
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