Family,  Mommy,  Travel

Science Center & Children’s Museum Explora Review

Bad weather can be a nightmare for parents with young, active children.  I love to take my boys to Explora! The Science Center & Children’s Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  This place is fantastic for year-round educational fun for all ages, even parents!  Check out what you can do at Explora! in my Explora Review! 

Explora! is a children’s museum dedicated to hands-on learning that will engage all kids, at any age, to discover science and love it!  A multilevel building filled with huge, seemingly endless, exhibits designed specifically for young learners.  This museum gives kids the opportunity to learn at their level and that will increase cognitive and creative skills.

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The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

The Science Center & Children’s Museum Explora Review in Albuquerque, New Mexico

My boys love coming to Explora! so we purchased the unlimited year pass and visit quite often, especially in the winter months when we can’t go to the zoo.  It took us at least 3-4 hours the first time we visited to get through just the first floor.  We came back the following week to see the second floor and the following week after to check out the playground and surrounding outdoor exhibits.  Explora! changes exhibits and puts in new, exciting exhibits throughout the years making it a perfect place to visit often.

Our Favorite Current Exhibits

There are several awesome exhibits to check out at Explora! but these are our favorites!

Water of Life Exhibit  The water exhibit is my husband’s favorite.  His work as a water resources engineer in town can really appreciate what this exhibit teaches the future generation.  From flow rates and pipes to dams and waterfalls, the water exhibit at Explora! is one of my kids’ favorites!

Sketch Theater! – Augmented Reality is a really great way to teach kids about technology!  With the Sketch Theater, you and your child will be able to draw and/or color themed objects (currently various cars and fishes) and upload them onto the big screen!  Your kids get to see their work come to life!

Curious Bubbles – The bubbles exhibit is both my kids’ favorite!  Everyone had such a great time making these huge bubbles!

New! Curious Contraptions – The latest exhibit offered at Explora! where kids can see the craftiness and mechanical engineering involved in creating each contraption!  These are so cute and my kids had fun looking and see what funny thing these cute little automata does!

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Toddler Time & Baby Area

Explora! can get pretty busy, especially on weekends!  Even during the week, Explora! is host to many school field trips so Explora! has set aside a special time for their youngest guest learners!  Toddler Time is every Monday from 9AM (1 hour before regular hours) to 11AM for ages 4 and younger.  Not only do they get to check out all the exhibits, they also get to participate in Story Time and Music Jams!

Brayden, being just 22 months younger than Jameson has his own special baby area in Explora!  It’s a small room in which babies can crawl around and not feel intimidated by the older kids but also providing them a safe way to play and learn at their own pace!

Outdoor Exhibits and Play Areas

On the roof top patio area, build structures with huge blocks!  Have a picnic at one of the tables and enjoy the warm New Mexico weather during the summer!  Take the stairs down from this patio area and find a large playground!

Water Flow Patio Exhibit is an extension of the indoor water exhibit!

These exhibits are a little bit wetter than our indoor water exhibits, and offer just as many possibilities for experimentation and investigation into the intriguing properties of water. Can you build a dam out of LEGO® DUPLO® blocks? What happens when you pump water into a water tower that’s ten feet tall? Can you move a solar panel so it powers a fountain of your own design? – Explora

The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

Check out these awesome experiments throughout Explora!

Even at a young age, my son Jameson loves trains and building little towns and constructing the railroad tracks.  This fun exhibit allows your kids the freedom to build their own world and go around and around!

The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

Another major hit at Explora! is the bicycle on a tight rope!  This is the mini version but the life size ride is on the second floor hovering over the toddler area!  My husband actually rode this on a civil engineering field trip in college.

Playing with sand has never been so much fun!  This exhibit allows you to make hills in the sand and see the geographic contours and ridges as it maps it in real time!

The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

Learn about frequencies and sounds along with pendulums the fun, interactive way!  This exhibit is huge with brief descriptions to the hows and whys that young learners can easily understand.

Learn about circuits the fun way!  This exhibit is has so many little boards like this one that my Dad and Jameson tinkered with for an hour!

The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

Strong and fun magnet building and sensory play to problem-solving puzzles!  Even my own parents had a great time!

This exhibit is one of my favorites!  It is a huge rotating stainless steel disc accompanied with various balls and wheel discs that takes patience and a steady hand to get them running together!

The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review The Science Center & Children's Museum Explora Review

There are so many fun exhibits at Explora! and you can take your time and always come back over and over!  Plus Explora! also offers events, classes and programs, and you can even rent it for birthday parties and weddings!

  • Adult Night
    • “When community members let us know they wanted a night at Explora without the kids, we listened, and created a night just for adults. Adult Night debuted at Explora in November 2004, and has grown into an evening popular with college students, young professionals, parents and grandparents on their night off from the kids, meet-up and singles groups, folks on date night, active retirement groups, and more.” -Explora

  • Parents’ Night Out
    • An awesome program that’s geared for parents’ to have a date night and their kids can be dropped off to enjoy the evening at Explora!
  • PoP: Meet a Scientist Program
    • “Visitors of all ages are invited to meet scientists and engineers who are neighbors in the community. In Explora’s Portal to the Public (PoP) Meet a Scientist programs, visitors participate in materials-rich, engaging activities as they learn about the current research of Albuquerque-area scientists and engineers.  Past activities, with scientists from Intel, Sandia National Labs, University of New Mexico, and Qynergy Corporation, have included experiments with lasers and optics, investigations on how steam can generate electricity, explorations on how tools can help us ‘see’ infrared and ultraviolet light, and challenges with brain teasers, just to name a few.” -Explora

  • Parties and Rentals
    • Find more information about hosting parties and renting the Explora! facilities here.

Visitor Information

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10AM – 6PM & Sunday 12PM – 6PM

Note: Closed on January 1st, July 4th, the week after Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and December 25th.  Closes at 2PM on December 24th and 31st. 

Admission

  • Explora Members – FREE
  • Under Age 1 – FREE
  • Age 1-11 – $4
  • Age 12 – 64 – $8
  • Age 65+ – $5
  • Students or Military – $5

Membership & The ASTC Passport Program

I loved Explora! and so does my entire extended family!  It definitely helps me keep my kids entertained on rainy days and I’m glad that I can take them here to learn something new!  This is why we purchased a membership to Explora!  Find membership pricing and details here.  With a membership to Explora! we also get enrolled into the ASTC Passport Program which allows us to get free admission into over 300 Association of Science-Technology Centers worldwide!

Want to #teach your #kids how to love #science? Check this #museum out! Click To Tweet

Have you been to a children’s museum like Explora?
I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment! 

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Wife, Stay at Home Mom of two boys, and blogger. Friends and family call me Kaye but my personal favorite is "Mom." I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be at home with my two baby boys. As an engineer by career, and stay-at-home mom by choice, I write about how to “Invent. Innovate. Design. Mommyhood” and what that entails.

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