The Orlando Science Center (OSC) has expanded KidsTown, a popular attraction for kids of all ages. It is now three times bigger at 11,000 square feet, offers new activities and appeals to a wider age group. With the grand opening happening just this past weekend (Oct. 22-23, 2016), your kids will want to revisit KidsTown again.
KidsTown has moved to the second floor making easier access from the parking garage. Walk over the pedestrian walkway and the new attraction will be on your left. The entrance is also the only exit, making it safer for parents to monitor active children. The entire area is roomier and visually appealing. You can move through various sections spending as much or as little time in each experience.
If your child has a favorite activity at OSC, don’t despair. Nature Works, All Aboard, Science Park, Engineer It, DinoDigs and Our Planet and other popular attractions are still present. The 7 new hands-on zones include:
- Orange Grove presented by Dr. Phillips Charities
- Isaacs Family Climb Time
- Harriett’s Kidstown Theatre
- Kidstown Studio presented by Florida Hospital for Children
- Toddler Town presented by Community Based Care of Central Florida
- Drip Drop Splash presented by James M. Cox Foundation
- Explore It presented by Publix Super Markets Charities
Activities at KidsTown
The first activity you’ll be able to experience at KidsTown is called Orange Grove. This popular activity as been a favorite for years. Now, however, you not only get to “pick” the “oranges,” you also get to see how they move from the factory to the market. This part of KidsTown is a great tribute to Dr. Phillips’ first orange factory in Orlando, which still stands on the corner of Princeton Street and Orange Avenue.
Family ClimbTime is another great activity. Who doesn’t love to climb? This multilevel course has something for every ability focusing on kids between the ages of 4 and 7. There are rope bridges, slides, stairs and other obstacles. Older kids and parents may need to duck while climbing but will find the activity a lot of fun.
Other Fun Things to Do
Down the “shadow” hallway (15 colorful lights throw shadows on the opposite wall) is a large room divided into four distinct activities. First is Drip Drop Splash. This area includes a water table where your child can rearrange obstacles changing the path of the water’s flow. Make it rain with a simple turn of a wheel. While this isn’t necessarily a splash zone, do expect a lot of dampness.
Secondly, this area includes Harriett’s KidsTown Theatre and KidsTown studio. Hear stories and see performances in this area. Arts and crafts and other activities will take place in this section as well. If your child loves to play dress-up, check out the costume shelf. This is a great way for your child to express themselves and pretend.
If you have younger children (infants to 2 years), ToddlerTown will be a great treat. Let your little one crawl, push, pull, lift and experiment. The peek-a-boo activity is great fun and will definitely entertain your little one.
Within the Explore It area, children can put science to work. An 18-foot-tall structure with wind pipes dominates this area. Colorful scarves are sent through see-through vacuum pipes. Once they exit, they gently glide down to the floor. Kids of all ages love to watch and participate.
An oversized Lite Brite is also featured in the Explore It area. Light up the room with the kaleidoscope-projection board with lights that you twist on and off as well as change colors. It will light up any child’s face!
Orlando Science Center Information
OSC is located at 777 E. Princeton, Orlando, FL 32803 and is open daily (except Wednesdays) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Membership allows entry at 9:00 a.m. The cost is $19.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids 3-11. While KidsTown is re-experienced for the next several weeks, “timed tickets” will be issued to keep the area from being over-crowded. You can reserve your time at the admissions desk, or if a member, in advance online. Call 407-514-2000 or go to osc.org for more information.