Museum of Discovery and Science
Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science has 85,000 square feet (7,900 square meters) of hands-on science exhibits and animal displays across two floors. There are dozens of interesting ways to learn about space, the human body, and local flora and fauna. Many of the exhibits are aimed at young children and teenagers, but there’s plenty here to keep adult visitors entertained.
Start your visit at the Great Gravity Clock, just outside the main entrance. It’s a 52-foot (16-meter) clock powered by gravity. Watch as balls roll down slanted rails every minute, 10 minutes and hour, changing the hands of the clock. It’s one of only three large “kinetic energy” clocks in the world.
Animal enclosures are on the first floor. Several North American river otters can be seen from underwater and above ground viewing platforms. There are aquariums for Florida marine species such as nurse sharks and grouper fish. You’ll also find alligators and turtles, and enclosures with bats, snakes and tarantulas.
Science exhibits are on the second floor. Runways to Rockets covers air and space travel. See how much you weigh on different planets and take the controls of a jet plane (one of nine simulators). Learn about the human body in Choose Health and the science of sound in the Sounds display. In other exhibits across the floor, enjoy hands-on puzzles, experiment with magnets, experience the force of a hurricane or learn about dinosaurs.
This museum is a great way to spend a rainy day or hot summer afternoon since all of the exhibits are indoors. The 300-seat IMAX Theater plays 2-D and 3-D films daily, including Hollywood blockbusters and documentaries. It’s not included in the price of a normal museum entrance ticket, but there are special “combo” deals. Ask at the main museum entrance or check online.
The Museum of Discovery and Science is located in the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment district in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It’s accessible by bus or car, and there’s free parking available. The museum and IMAX Theater are open 365 days a year.