Parque de las Ciencias, Granada
Granada in Spain has numerous museums, the Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias) is centrally located and a perfect place to spark the imagination, for both adults and children alike. There are a variety of buildings and sections to the museum, including an aquarium in the Bio Dome, an Astronomical Observatory (aged 5+) and permanent and temporary exhibitions. it really does take you all day to explore.
The highlight of our visit was the Bio Dome (Bio Domo), Mouse Deers, Komodo Dragons, Aligators, Sharks, Jelly Fish, Spiders, Lizards and much much more! The boys loved walking amongst the Lemurs and watching the cheeky animals swing through the trees. There was even a Toucan flying overhead who decided to make his home on top of a speaker.
The exhibitions in the main museum do change, we were fortunate enough to visit when the Robot exhibition was on; ‘Humans and Machines’ (March 2017- January 2018). The displays really were fascinating, highlighting the increasing use of prosthetics and implants and asking the visitor if we are slowly becoming cyborgs and if will we merge with machines one day? A fascinating insight into our future…perhaps? ADA our robot guide took us around the various exhibits, she/it was a little long winded in her/its explanations for two puzzled pre-schoolers,but they dutifully followed ADA with caution as she led us to a machine gun, antique wind up baby and an artificial heart, explaining each display as she rolled along. After a rather long description and as we are still top of the food chain we then sent ADA back towards the entrance.
The poster boy robot for the exhibition is a robot head which mimics your facial expressions, there is also a robot which reacts with passers by, it was able to quote famous movie lines and had love hearts in its eyes when it saw someone it liked, quite the entertainer…maybe the future of robots is in variety performance.
Another section of the main museum housed different workshops (Tallers). There was a major display of taxidermy and you could watch the experts at work and see how the rather gruesome collection of lions, tigers, antelope and animals were created. Computers and new technology allowed you to make sound and ‘play’ tunes on plants(!) and even take a journey through the human body.
The museum is housed on a large site, much of which is outside space. There are lots of outdoor activities for the children, the Forest of Senses, a botanical walk and Butterfly House, a lake, a maze of water tunnels and fountains to divert and section, a wind-up whirlpool to create energy and giant chess set for children to make illegal moves on. There is also an Observation Tower which provides panoramic views of Granada.
The Hall of Perception allows you to experiment with Physics, some wonderful interactive displays which were a big hit with the children; they wound handles, pressed buzzers, revealed their portraits in special mirrors and toyed with light and sound.
It is rather expensive so check the prices before you go, but if you have a day to spare, if the Spanish heat is too much to bear, this is a great space to escape and experiment and have the chance to take some rather different photos.