Hawaii Mom Blog: Off-Island: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center




February 15, 2013

Off-Island: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

While visiting San Diego, we knew we wanted to visit a museum in Balboa Park, and after reading about Kid City and the great exhibits at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, we knew that it would be a great choice.

Highlights of Our Visit:
Housing over 100 interactive exhibits, the world's first IMAX Dome Theater, and Kid City, where kids 5 and under can pretend in their own special city, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is an attraction terrific for both kids and adults of all ages.

Explor-O-Rama featured numerous hands-on exhibits throughout the center, and my kids were excited to try as much as they could!  They loved the interacting with such exhibits as the Gravity Well, the Kaleidoscope, and the Giant Chair (click on photos to enlarge).

My kids absolutely loved Kid City (for kids ages 5 and under; older kids are allowed to enter, but they had to remain by their parent's/adult guardian's side).

My middle son loved going "grocery shopping" (he'd push the shopping cart throughout Kid City and pick up any stray groceries he'd find), and my oldest and youngest son LOVED the Ball Wall.  They loved watching balls getting sucked up in vacuum tubes and falling down through metal pegs. They remained at the Ball Wall for a very long time, and really enjoyed all there was to do there.

Other exhibits at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center included Great Balls of Fire, where my kids learned more about comets and asteroids; Block Busters!, where the kids were able to create their own masterpieces with wooden KEVA (Knowledge-Exploration-Visual-Arts) planks; and Cellular Journey, where we saw several exhibits about human bodies, cells, etc.

At the end of our visit we watched an IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies, a movie about a zoologist who was determined to track the flight of the butterflies and figure out where they migrated to each winter.

The IMAX Dome Theater allowed for a stunning view of the story. Although we had to constantly look around to absorb entire scenes, it made everything look that much more impressive - whether it was a single butterfly or thousands of butterflies on screen.

For lunch we bought food from Galileo's Cafe.

The boys got Pepperoni Pizzas ($2.95); I ordered a Fleet Club Sandwich ($6.75); my husband ordered a Greek Salad ($5.25).

My sandwich was quite good, and I thought the prices were pretty reasonable, especially considering the location!

Visiting with a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
I know every child with an ASD is different, but we always try various techniques to minimize challenges whenever we travel.

Prior to our visit, we made sure to tell him where we were going and what he expected to see.  I anticipated that he would really enjoy the Ball Wall, which he did, and another exhibit he became fascinated with was the Kugelbahn exhibit.

This exhibit featured billiard balls rolling about through a sculpture via various forms of energy.

My son could have stayed at this exhibit for our entire visit, either turning the wheel himself to watch the balls move, or simply to watch the balls in motion as other kids turned the wheel.

Because he loved the exhibit so much, whenever we could sense him becoming over-stimulated, or to help him recover from a meltdown, we'd simply go back to the Kugelbahn exhibit.

Also, there were plenty of benches and other seating throughout the center available for us to use if he needed to take a mini-break to rest.

Final Thoughts:
Although I think the age limit could be increased at Kid City (I completely understand the limit due to safety reasons, but I could totally see older kids enjoying all there is in Kid City), I loved how it helps to foster kids' imaginations and creativity.

Overall The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center had a nice variety of exhibits and is a great attraction to keep visitors of all ages intrigued and entertained, while learning interesting facts about science.

Below are more photos from our trip.  Enjoy!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: 1875 El Prado; San Diego, CA 92101; (619) 238-1233

Free Parking

Admission: $11.75 Adults (Ages 13+); $9.75 Juniors (Ages 3-12 and Seniors Ages 65+); visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center website for special discounts and offers.

Thank you to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for the complimentary passes for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  I received no monetary compensation for this post.

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