Sunday, January 22, 2012

Out and About in Cape Town: The Cape Science Centre

It used to be known as the MTN Science Centre at Century City.  And when it closed, mothers in the Western Cape lamented over the loss of such an educational gem.  Well it's back! And its better!

Thanks to some complementary tickets for a tight budgeted family, we were able to head off to the Cape Science Centre to see what it was like, what there was to do and of course with a hidden agenda - for the children to have an authentic learning experience.  (we never tell them that though - the emphasis for them is always how much fun it will be...... while secretly we are planning and scheming on what exactly they can learn.  Its all about being intentional without letting them in on the secret)

The first item you see when you walk through the door is a magnificent model train which kept running the entire time we were there. I personally must have stood there 3 or 4 times just watching it go round and round.  And then round and round some more.  You can see I didn't have capacity to do anything really brainy first thing in the morning, especially since I had only had one cup of coffee that morning - not my usual litre.  (just kidding ..... OK, well actually not:)
 There was a battle of the sexes, brain activity competition.  Those funny looking bands were to measure our brain activity and then we had to "think" the ball forward.  Let's just say I won twice.  And I won't mention anything about men being less capable, or having less brain cells or less brain activity - I trust you will come to your own conclusions on that one:))) And after all it would probably just be plain rude.

There was Lego room - Paradise for some of my children.

There was some constructing
 A fantastic science show which included foam jumping out of test tubes, rocket science and some colour changing chemicals that had parents and children catching flies!  They apparently run various science workshops, so if you want to be informed of when that takes, add your name to their email list.  I know I have, because we don't have the equipment or the chemicals for a lot of the more advanced science experiments.

- and just to say there were LOTS and LOTS of parents(including yours truly who got very involved with some of the demonstrations).  I even got the chance to see all my curves, bumps and bulges from every angle possible - frightening stuff!  I have had a rude awakening to reality - may need counselling or just another coffee would probably do the trick!

Some tummy turning, upside downing and inside outing activities

The new centre is breezy and bright with lots of natural light which makes it much nicer than the one at Century City, I felt far more relaxed and while sitting in the coffee shop I could see most of the hall.  Also the coffee shop gives you a view of the entrance as well as the toilets, so no children disappearing without you being aware of it.  I found this venue far less stressful as mom than the last one. I was able to enjoy my time there and in fact we were there for about 6 hours.

And while your older children are busy, the venue is also really suitable for toddlers as they have a lovely play area, videos and hands on activities that are strong and hardy for clumsy fingers.  You don't feel the need to say "don't touch" all the time. 

It is still under construction but there is just so much potential for growth!  I look forward to going back in a few months time to see all the proposed changes.

There is food and coffee on sale at the coffee shop.  We took our own food which we ate in the parking lot (yes I know we are very civilised but the reality is that with a family of 6 - it keeps excursions affordable).  We did enjoy some good coffee at their in house coffee shop when we took a break while the children continued to play.

Go and experience the Cape Science Centre yourself!  Its another amazing activity for your children to do in the Western Cape.  And in fact if you follow the link you may be able to win some tickets for you and your family to experience it firsthand.

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