FROM AQUARIUM TO PLANETARIUM AND BEYOND
Miami’s Frost Museum of Science is well worth the trip
As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” As a mom to two very inquisitive young kids, I am asked a lot of questions, many of which are science-based, and I honestly don’t understand it well enough myself. This is one reason why I love visiting museums like the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.
This unique, interactive museum, just two hours away across Alligator Alley, has exhibitions that will impress, educate and connect all age groups with the world of science and technology. The Frost museum’s vision is to create compelling STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) exhibitions that inspire learning and innovation and encourage people to explore real, rigorous science.
Families should expect to spend several hours to a full day here experiencing the eye-opening, interactive fun spread out over six levels. In addition to all the exhibits, there is a nice dining venue for lunch and movies playing in the planetarium.
Here are several must-do activities while exploring the Frost Museum of Science.
GO TO THE ROOF Located in a shady canopy atop the building is a birds-of-prey exhibit. It is home mostly to injured rescues undergoing rehab. You will be treated to amazing rooftop views of the city at the same time.
LAUNCH PAPER AIRPLANES Who doesn’t love a good competition with paper airplanes? Part of the Feathers to the Stars exhibition, the paper airplanes you construct here teach you the principles of aerodynamics by using a launcher to push the paper planes into the air. The exhibition also features an assortment of dinosaurs, including a life-size replica of a Yutyrannus huali; a rocket launcher; and several other flying-related concepts.
EXPLORE THE EVERGLADES THROUGH
PLAY The River of Grass exhibition is perfect for the youngest visitors. A South Florida wilderness scene is projected onto a wall, so that kids can interact with the simulated animals—from panthers to alligators. Just outside of this exhibition in the hallway, children can experiment with the physics of water. The goal is to teach young people about environmental science, and this installation helps them understand hydrology and the importance of water tables in keeping native species alive.
GET TICKETS TO THE PLANETARIUM
If you are a planetarium buff, then you will be impressed with this one. It is one of only 13 lik e it in the world. The dome uses a 16-million-color 8K projection system, has six 3D-capable projectors and is tilted forward at 23.5 degrees, allowing a 67-foot span to fill your field of vision, creating a nearly 360-degree view of the screen from any of the 250 seats. The shows range from space trips to deep dives, and they feel very real.
JUMP AROUND THE LUMINOUS DANCE
FLOOR On the museum’s first level, a dance floor begs kids to run across (or do handstands and snow angels on) it. With every step on the interactive floor, orange and yellow concentric circles emanate from your feet (or hands), illuminating for guests how many steps it takes to burn off breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Surrounding this unique floor is the MeLaß exhibition, where you learn how bodies work and how diet affects health. I was able to show my son how his brain activity changes when he is well-rested versus when he is tired, which answered one of his recent questions, “Why do I need t o go to bed so early?”
If you are a planetarium buff, then you will be impressed with this one. It is one of only 13 like it in the world.
TAKE YOUR TIME IN THE AQUARIUM The aquarium at the Frost Museum of Science has three levels of tanks with both indoor and outdoor exhibits that mimic a variety of Florida ecosystems. Each level offers a different view of sea life: from above, beside and below. My favorite part is the 31-foot-wide oculus that gives you the vantage point of peering up into the Gulf Stream. The aquarium at the Frost Museum demonstrates the importance of mangroves in the Florida ecosystem.
Clockwise from top left: Frost Museum’s educational areas throughout the aquarium; the 31-foot-wide oculus, which allows visitors to peer into the Gulf Stream; rooftop observatory; the impressive planetarium; a dinosaur display