Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was take a trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Some thirty-five years ago, my Grandfather would show up to pick me and my siblings up from a half-day at school, load us into his '73 Impala (practically a boat on wheels), hand us a box of donut holes from Dunkin' Donuts. and drive us down to Hyde Park so we could spend the rest of the day at the Museum of Science and Industry. Back then, admission was free, so taking four kids wouldn't break the bank.
In the tradition of "Chicago's Greatest Freebie", we took the kiddos to the St. Louis Science Center this weekend where admission is free but parking is $15. It's touted as one of the Top 5 Science Centers in the country, but, I feel like the place has seen better days. First off, the bathroom facilities at the St. Louis Science Center were woefully inadequate for the amount of visitors it was handling. I understand that it was a holiday weekend, but that's really no excuse for the tremendously long lines we experienced outside of the Men's room.
Overall, the St. Louis Science Center seems to be feeling its age. There wasn't a lot that my kids, who are all very curious and inquisitive, seemed to enjoy doing. The Planetarium area was a hit and they liked hanging out in the bridge over the highway and looking through the telescopes. I was particularly gleeful at the fact that you could aim radar trackers at cars to see how fast they were going. The must wreak havoc with the commuters who have radar detectors. Despite the high points, I think we could have skipped this one.