Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Blue Star Voices: Lawrence Hall of Science

With the current heat wave burning up the Bay area, the Lawrence Hall of Science made for an excellent HOT summer outing. Located on the hills overlooking Berkeley, not only does it have comfortable weather, but also some beautiful views that even a three-year-old can appreciate.

We visited this museum on a weekday as soon as it opened, and it was perfect. This was our first time visiting, and we could have easily spent an hour in the entrance hall alone. Between the “pin wall," “spinning pictures,” and an “air blower,” my two girls were quite happy.

Once we finished making handprints on the “pin wall,” we moved on to the play area, which offered more scientific, educational, hands-on stations. Both of my girls loved it, and that’s saying a lot. They are sisters after all---they are only equally happy on momentous occasions. Apparently, this museum provided one of them, so I am a fan!

Further, the museum has an outdoor area where we played for a while. The girls loved hopping over the rocks in a “pond” and making their own dams. I noticed there were picnic tables set up nearby, so when we go next time, we will be sure to pack a picnic. Yes, after our initial 15 minutes, the girls were already talking about coming back with daddy. Daddy, upon seeing our pictures (and the pin wall), is very excited to oblige.

Coming back inside, we built with blocks, made crafts, went through a maze, and enjoyed the rest of what the museum had to offer---or most of it. The Lawrence Hall Of Science also has a planetarium. I would have liked to take my five-year-old to see a show about stars. Unfortunately, it was for children four and up, so little sissy didn’t qualify. We’ll definitely do that with Daddy next time. Besides, they were preoccupied enough.

Overall, our first visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science was a beaming success. We sort of did an “express tour” this time---unsure about the drive back and all---but I plan on a longer trip in the future. Hopefully (with daddy’s assistance) one of us can take our oldest to see a planetarium show.

I love places that offer a clean, stimulating, educational learning environment, but that also make it intuitive and age-appropriate even for wee ones. I am very grateful that we can visit them for free. The Lawrence Hall of Science rocked from beginning to end. We can’t wait to go back!

Martina Greene is a Coast Guard wife and a stay-at home mom of two lively girls: Sophia who is five, and Isabella, who will be three very soon. 

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