Monday, December 19, 2016

Orlando Science Center New Kids Town

Orlando Science Center New Kids Town

We have had a fantastic time over the last few weeks at the Orlando Science Center. The New Kids Town is really amazing! There is so much to see and do. We have increased how long we stay at OSC now due to the new kids town. We used to stay for about 2 hours max, now we find ourselves still having fun after four or five hours at OSC! It is hard to leave all of the fun exhibits!

I have taken a lot of pictures in the past several weeks. I decided to compile a few collages of some of the amazing areas to play in the New Kids Town. We just love it there! We meet a few times each month with our homeschool co-op as well. My 8 year old twin boys just love meeting their friends at OSC. They have an even better time when their friends are meeting us there. 

My twins love every part of the New Kids Town. The theatre part has really helped my son with Aspergers to blossom and feel like he is in his element. It has been so great to see him have so much fun and feel so at home in the little theatre. The kids can change the backgrounds with a control panel. They used to be able to close the curtains and present a show, but OSC has now locked the curtains open. We are all pretty disappointed about that. We love all of the cool costumes and props, so fun! The lighting is amazing!

The drip drop splash water play area is so much fun. It is such a beautiful area too. The water play area is designed for kids of all ages. The kids can spend hours in there designing waterways, dams, and using some of the great water play accessories. This area is very Reggio inspired in my opinion!

The bernouli table, light play, and play silk area is another favorite! We only wish they would add a few more add a few more play silks. They have this elaborate system that can suck the play silks into tubes and then spit them out high up in the air. It is magical to watch the play silks float and fall slowly down to the ground. The kids love to try and catch them in mid air. We have found that the bernouli table is also amazing for play silks! We have had so much fun with that all. The kids love the light play area in that section too! They have a giant light bright that you turn the little dials to light them up. You can make patterns, pictures, words, or just go freestyle. The light tables are combined with overhead projectors and a kaleidoscope effect. It is a very fun, beautiful, and unique way to play with light. They have provided beautiful, large, acrylic shapes to use with this light play set up. It is quite lovely. They have a wonderful ball and track building system, as well as large foam blocks in minecraft colors, and a large scale wooden tinker building system too. So much awesome in one room! 

The orange grove is a serious step up from the old orange grove. It has so much to see, do, experience. The system is amazing. They have a fantastic baby area, a wonderful farmers market with adorable stuffed vinyl fruits and veggies. There is also really cute cashier/checker desk with a beeping check out scanner. The balls all get sucked, pushed, pulled, and scooted all around the room in this interactive system where they eventually collect in a chamber above a shoot that eventually empties the balls all onto the kids who await them below. So much fun, so hard to describe. You have to see it!

They also have a hallway of colorful lights and shadows on the way from the orange grove to the green climbing play area. The kids love to dance around, twirl, pose, and have all kinds of wonderful shadow play fun in this area. It is one of my most favorite areas in new kids town!

The green climbing play area is so wonderful. There are tons of unique climbing areas inside of it. It is a few stories high, and even has little climbing challenge areas inside. It also interacts with a ball shoot plinko(price is right) play system. The kids like to spend a LOT of time in this climbing system. It is a blast!

I almost forgot to mention the kids town studio. It is a beautiful arts and crafts studio. They have tables, shelves full of wonderful educational toys and activities, and scheduled art, craft, and tinkering activities. My twin boys and their homeschool friends have a great time in the studio! 

Outside the studio is a digital card making machine where you can quickly and easily create digital greeting/ get well cards for all of the children who are currently residing in Florida Hospitals pediatric ward. I always take a minute to create a few cards and remember how very thankful I am that my children are not hospitalized. I was a kid who spent some time in a hospital. I had a lot of kidney and bladder issues. I had to have a lot of surgeries and hospital stays at the Pittsburgh Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I grew up in PA.  I was a preemie. I had health problems. I was sick a lot. So, needless to say I am thankful my kids are not in the hospital. I take pride in making those little digital cards for those poor sick children.  I hope everyone does. It means a lot to those kids.

I also almost forgot to mention that there are two really amazing baby and toddler play areas within kids town. They really are so perfect for babies and toddlers. I whole heatedly approve of those little areas!

Kids town had a slightly chaotic start, everyone wanted to go see it. I was lucky enough to see it before it was even done, and then again with my kids 2 days before it opened to annual passholders. We really appreciate the wonderful PR lady. She is amazing, and so sweet! It was an honor and a privilege to be included in this magical experience. 

After the first few days of the new kids town opening, things got a little bit stressful. The staff at OSC started putting restrictions on the ages and heights of kids who could enter and play in kids town. They said it was only for children under age 7, and under a certain height. This really upset a lot of people and created a lot of angry chaos. Many people had bought OSC annual passes and driven  from an hour or two away just for new kids town, only to be denied access. Then they said it was ok to bring a child older than age 7, or over their height restriction if the child was on the Autism spectrum, handicapped, special needs, etc. Then they decided to have a team of young and older women run around police/micromanage each section of new kids town. It was a flippin disaster, it was really irritating a lot of parents and kids. There was so much drama and gossip in the first month of new kids town opening. I am just so glad that they seem to have worked all of the bugs out. It would be a shame to not allow children ages 8-12 and children who are just tall in stature for their age to be locked out of new kids town. It really broke a lot of kids hearts when they were denied access. I had tons of texts, emails, and phone calls from the big homeschool co-op that I organize. The mothers were outraged, the children were heartbroken, their were meltdowns, fits, and a lot of disappointed families.

I am so relieved that it has all been worked out and no one is being denied access to new kids town now. I like to think of that time as new kids town puberty, it was rough for the OSC staff, as well as guests of OSC.

My 8 year old twin boys absolutely love it. They homeschool friends who meet us there range in age from age 4- 11. All of the children have a phenomenal time each time we go to OSC.

We also have to mention that there is a new and AMAZING addition on the 4th floor. You HAVE to see this interactive watershed/waterways/landscapes sand table.  It is one of the coolest things at Orlando Science Center!

See my videos and photos below!


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