Science North, Hands-on Family Fun

science north building

For Mother’s Day this year we traveled to Sudbury, Ontario for the weekend to visit the science centres. I remembered going to Science North with my family when I was young and I have been wanting to go back for quite some time to take my children. My only real memory of it was the long drive and a really cool waterfall that my brothers and I wanted to stay playing with all day. So my memory wasn’t extensive, and I was curious. We drove to Sudbury early Saturday morning, spent the afternoon exploring Dynamic Earth (another local science centre specializing in Ontario’s geological history and mining heritage) and checked in to our hotel. Sunday morning we were excitedly off to Science North! Below you will find out important information for visiting Science North, as well as hear about a few of our favourite features!

Science North Memberships

We decided to get a yearly membership, and here is why:

  • We planned to go to both science centres in Sudbury that weekend (Science North and Dynamic Earth).
  • Science North is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers and a participant in the ASTC Travel Passport Program. This means that with a membership, we can gain free entry into any other participating science centers. There are MANY all over Canada, the U.S.A and internationally. (Check out the list here)
  • Members get discounts on: IMAX tickets, science camps and program registration, admission to special events, tickets to the Explore Science Speaker Series, the Planetarium, as well as a discount at their gift shop.

When we put all of that together, it really made a lot of sense for us. Our kids went to a Science North Summer Camp last year and LOVED it. They are doing it again this year and we received a discount because of the membership. Between our free entries, on-site and camp discounts, we have already paid off our membership and saved extra!

 

Getting There

Science North is located at 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury. For a comprehensive list of driving directions click here.

OR

Check out this Map of Sudbury showing Science North.

For parking you will be paying $6 on arrival.

 

Admission Costs

General Admission Adult
(18 years and over)
Senior
(65 years and over)
Youth
(ages 13-17)
Child
(ages 3 – 12)
Science North $26.00 $24.00 $24.00 $22.00
Dynamic Earth $21.00 $19.00 $19.00 $17.00
Value Options
Good Play All Day Passport $37.00 $34.00 $34.00 $31.00
Better Dynamic Duo Passport $50.00 $45.00 $45.00 $41.00
Best Annual Membership starting as low as $65 for the year!

Click HERE for details about Value Option Packages

General Theatre Admission Adult
(18 years and over)
Senior
(65 years and over)
Youth
(ages 13-17)
Child
(ages 3 – 12)
IMAX Documentaries $11.00 $10.00 $10.00 $9.00
IMAX Feature Films $15.00 $14.00 $14.00 $13.00
IMAX Specialty Children’s Films $6.00 $6.00 $6.00 $6.00
Planetarium $8.00 $7.00 $7.00 $6.00

 

The Fun Part

 

One of the first things you see once you pass the coat racks is the Amazing Waterfall of my Childhood!! It’s not as impressive in my adulthood, but my children all felt it was worth the hype I had given it. They have full access to touch the water and that alone could have kept them busy all day.

The Great Waterfall

 

Once you pass the waterfall you get to the walkway that takes you to the exhibits. The rock tunnel was impressive. Science North is built right into rock and highlights features like the Creighton fault, which runs right through the centre.

 

Rock tunnel, Science North

Rock Tunnel Entryway

 

Toddler Area

science north toddler area

Toddler Play Space

There is a really great space for toddlers to play. They have a pirate ship treehouse to climb, a bear cave to explore, cubbies full of toys and a Cozy Crawlers section for the smallest of our smalls.

 

Nature Exchange

Nature Exchange, Science North

A reward from the Nature Exchange

Science North and Dynamic Earth have  a program for kids called the Nature Exchange. Kids can open their own account, then bring in rocks, pine cones, shells, and whatever else they find in nature. They earn points for the object, as well as what they know about it.  There is also a “quiz” you can ask a staff member about to earn more points. Kids can then use their point to buy items. The more points you spend, the bigger or more rare the object. The picture above is an amber ring Elliana bought with her points. This is a really great program that provides a fun and motivational way for kids to learn.

Follow this link for more information on the rules of the Nature Exchange 

Butterfly Exhibit

butterfly at Science North

Inside the Butterfly Exhibit

Science North has a butterfly exhibit that the kids will love. There is a section in the main  room to learn about butterflies (and spell their names using pictures of butterfly wings). Follow a short hallway and you can enter into a butterfly room! See them hatch out of cocoons, eat from special fruit trays and fly all around you. If you’re lucky one may even choose you as its perch!

Name spelled with butterfly wings

Elliana’s name spelled with butterfly wings

Creature Interaction

Remember in my post (Benefits of Traveling with Kids) when I mentioned my daughter is terrified of every creature that isn’t a cat?

Science North with praying mantis

Creature interaction

Science North, flying squ

Elliana getting a chance to pet a flying squirrel

Yeah… that is a picture of her happily holding a huge stick bug on her arm. There are a few different creatures they bring out and allow you and your children to touch and hold. They also have presentations in a small theatre to teach about different animals. While we were there we saw a flying squirrel demonstration. Children got to volunteer to pretend to be a tree and let a squirrel fly from one end of the room and land on them. Afterwards everyone got a chance to look up close and gently touch. My nervous daughter was one of the first to get in line!

 

All the Rest

There are other animals they can observe,  and a racetrack where the kids can build their own car (that races on a track against others). They can run races with each other and watch a playback of their race, or play in a water table that teaches them about erosion. Try the human gyroscope, lay on a bed of nails or learn how big your child will grow! They also have:

Science North, moose antlers

Wearable antlers

 

 

Science North, Flight simulator

A flight simulator

 

 

Science North, Canadarm

And a section all about space, where they can use a mini version of the Canadarm.

 

Science North has so much to do for all ages. After 7 hours there, including an IMAX film, there was still more we could have done. We can’t wait to go back! I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area (or a trip north if you’re not!).

 

 

 

Planning a trip to Sudbury? Check out my post about another great Sudbury attraction HERE!

 

 

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