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Playing With Light at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

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Playing With Light at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

  • Visit Now through Summer 2020.
  • USSRC Members get in free!
  • These interactive experiments, activities & light displays explore the vital role light plays in our lives.
children playing with their shadows at the Playing with Light exhibit
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I can’t tell you how excited I was when I was asked to do this review on the newest USSRC traveling exhibit Playing With Light! I knew just from the name that it was going to be a good one, and it didn’t disappoint!

There were two things that just fascinated me as a kid. The first was magnets. They seemed magical, and I derived lots of enjoyment from playing with them! The second was playing with light. Whether it was a laser pointer, disco ball, flashlight, making hand puppets, or even just Christmas lights, I have so many happy memories of playing with and enjoying light. My kids are no different. There is just something captivating about it.

My kids immediately were engaged and drawn in to the colorful exhibits. Playing With Light is extremely educational and hands on. Perfect for kinesthetic and tactile learners! The lights are low to draw attention to the different colorful stations, but there was still plenty of light to see my little ones as they explored.

This traveling exhibit leaves more open space in the room than some, which I personally appreciate. It makes it a lot easier to keep an eye on all of my kids (I have five kiddos ranging from 11-2 years old) as they followed their personal interests.

There were a number of stations that to my surprise, engaged all five of my kids at once. We had a ton of fun in the “shadow” room and the laser room! So much silliness posing and making shapes on the wall with shadows, and we had just watched Get Smart not 2 days before our visit, (the scene of Steve Carell trying to cross a room of lasers with a rat in his shirt had them giggling and laughing all the way through) and the kids had a blast trying to get from one side of the room, to the other without getting caught by the light beams.

I would highly recommend this exhibit to just about anyone. My kids had lots of fun, but so did I! It transported me back to so many good memories as I discovered light growing up. Their delight was contagious and I couldn’t help but smile all the way home. It was a good day.

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Parent Pro-Tips

  • There is not a bathroom in the general area where this display is, so have your kids go on the way in. The closest bathroom is by the Planetarium Theater to the left of the ticketing area.
  • There are ramps everywhere, making this exhibit very stroller friendly.
  • Make sure to go soon! This is a traveling exhibit and will only be here temporarily.

This traveling exhibit uses interactive experiments, activities and light displays to explore the vital role light plays in all of our lives. Families can build a telescope and adjust the lens to learn about optics and astronomy, make a laser beam bounce down a stream of water, mix colored lights and “freeze” your own shadow and paint with lights using special virtual paint brushes. Your whole family will love it!

Playing With Light Details

Where: U.S. Space & Rocket Center (map)
When: Now – Memorial Day 2020
Cost: General admission, or free for members.
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