Or­lando Sci­ence Cen­ter

Where Orlando - - EDITOR’S ITINERARY -

Just north of down­town is Loch Haven Cul­tural Park, home to two art mu­se­ums, sev­eral the­aters, a fire­fighter mu­seum and the Or­lando Sci­ence Cen­ter. Nes­tled be­tween three lakes, the 45-acre green space is pop­u­lar for both cul­ture seek­ers and na­ture lovers. Oak trees draped in Span­ish moss rest the el­bows of their mighty branches on the ground as the­ater-go­ers, chil­dren on field trips and art en­thu­si­asts stroll the cam­pus.

The sci­ence cen­ter is pop­u­lar among lo­cals, and a great place for vis­i­tors look- ing for a break from the heat or the rain. Four floors fea­ture in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits, a movie the­ater and live pro­gram­ming. New this year is Kid­sTown, an 11,000-square-foot area de­signed for tod­dlers and ele­men­tary-school-aged kids. De­sign your own roller­coaster, build your own go-cart, learn what it’s like to be a citrus farmer or just run loose in the gi­ant in­door play­ground. Older kids will en­joy Ki­netic Zone, also on the sec­ond floor, which fea­tures an 18-foot zi­pline, flight sim­u­la­tors and rocket launches. Ac­tiv­i­ties are de­signed to build Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, Engi­neer­ing and Math skills in an ex­cit­ing and in­ter­ac­tive way.

The fourth floor is ded­i­cated to space and di­nosaurs. Lit­tle ones dress up as ar­chae­ol­o­gists and un­cover ar­ti­facts in the ex­ca­va­tion site, while sur­rounded by gi­ant repli­cas of di­nosaur fos­sils. Next door are in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits and pro­gram­ming on our so­lar sys­tem and weather.

Be­fore head­ing out, stop by the ground floor to say "see ya later" to the live al­li­ga­tors and rep­tiles.

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