Imaginarium Hands-On Museum
The Imaginarium Hands-On Museum in Fort Myers is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon with your children. The Imaginarium is part aquarium, part museum and it is hands-on in the truest sense of the word. The kids can get on the floor and play with the toys until their hearts are content. The aquarium is also touchable and children love to touch the horseshoe crabs and baby sting rays. Why, they can even hold a baby alligator for a once in a lifetime candid moment. They can dig for dinosaurs, watch a lightening simulator and even put on a puppet show.
What to Expect
Once inside the Imaginarium, they can look through microscopes, visit a weather simulator and even get inside a hurricane experience. In a classroom-like experience they can first see the animals and learn about their natural habitats and more. Then they can go out into the marine area and experience the marine life first-hand.
There are sixty interactive exhibits at the Imaginarium so plan to spend several hours to ensure you see all the sights. The museum is a great place to visit on a rainy day (expect a bit of a crowd as everyone else will be doing the same) or after a long morning at the beach.
Exhibits to Visit
If you’re going, make sure you check out the Sporty Science Exhibit and explore the ‘Science of Sports’. Your children will be able to test their sport’s skills in various areas and see a real sports simulator exhibition. They will be able to virtually experience basketball, baseball, hockey, football and soccer to see how fast and accurate they are at each sport. Children are delighted by the immediate feedback that they receive regarding their sports prowess.
Next, your children will love the See-to-Sea Touch Tanks that feature live stingrays as well as a host of other marine life.
Some of the education exhibits that are available at the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum are the Earth & Space Science area which houses the Dino Dig, the Fossil Quarry and the Weather Stations. There is also the animal lab and turtle maze.
Tips for Visiting
Schedule your visit around a featured attraction. The Imaginarium has many events throughout the year. A Science Fair and a Science Expo are other events that occur at the Imaginarium during the year. If you go to the Imaginarium near a holiday, expect a themed event such as the “Boo Bash” near Halloween and the HolidayLand Family Fun Event near Christmas.
If you’re going on a Saturday, plan to be there for “Super Science Saturdays” where kids can participate in workshops such as “Build a Bot” and design and build their own robots.
If you are visiting during the week, expect to see the Little Hands Pre-School Events which include discussions of the human body head-to-toe, insects and the way water works.
Eat before you go – the Imaginarium does not serve food so it’s best to feed the kids before you head off to the museum.
Expect a lot of hands-on activities for your kids. This includes toys on the floor and lots of touchable materials along with the animals.
Before attending the museum, read up on some of the exhibition attractions that are available. Talk to your kids about dinosaurs and rocks and fossils so they have a better understanding of what they’ll be seeing. Answer their questions about the weather especially the hurricanes. The experience isn’t frightening but your child’s experience will be enhanced if they talk to you about it beforehand.
Before you go, check out the museum’s website and facebook page for events and more information on this fun-filled place where children’s imagination can go wild.