Did you know museums in Hong Kong have free admission on Wednesdays?
They’re slightly busier on Wednesday because of it, but it is a great excuse to get the kids out of the apartment and exploring (and learning) relatively cheaply. We tend to make a day of it working out what transport we will use to go there, and how to get back, often with lunch afterwards as we like to go in the morning.
My sprogs favorite museum (and the one they always ask to go back to) is the Hong Kong Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui East. By world standards it isn’t the most amazing science museum or the largest (remember space is at a premium here) but the hands on nature of almost all the exhibits allow the kids to experiment and experience science for themselves (in a safe way) which is why my kids love this place.
One of their favorite parts of the museum is the electricity gallery where they learn all about current, flow, volts, amps and magnetism. Mitchell loves the challenge of completing circuits to make buzzers sound or bulbs light up. Bethany likes this too, but at a couple of years older she is also realising different voltages make a light glow with different brightness and inquiring into why and how.
Maybe i’m lucky that my kids love hands-on experiments. I let them explore each concept on their own and then either explain, answer questions or together we read the museums explanation. Whichever approach we take I know my sprogs come away having learned something.
Another area of the museum my kids love is the World of Mirrors on the bottom floor. Using themselves as subjects they explore reflections, refraction, kaleidoscopes, convex, concave and other optical illusions through fun.
Before jumping in front of each mirror they will guess what will happen. The laughter and giggles in this exhibit are guaranteed from my two.
There are exhibits showing the water cycle, conservation, technology, physics, biology (including the inside anatomy of a pig), how machines work … almost all with areas that allow the kids to discover for themselves through various activities the different concepts on display. Of course, because of the hands-on activities you often have to wait your turn for many of these, but my kids don’t seem to mind. Science is FUN!
Through the centre of the museum encompassing some 4 floors is a giant marble run. The museum calls it their energy machine. It doesn’t run constantly, so if you are going to the museum, find out what time it will be operating so you can watch it. I have found it is best experienced from level 2 of the museum as you can look up and down and walk around to see both sides of the machine in action. As an adult it is an interesting experiment in gravity and for the kids it is a lot of fun to see the marbles go down the numerous tracks in action. Some of the giant marbles bounce down xylophone stairs while others bang kettle drums. Some make sails move and other spiral tightly or loop the loop to various funnels as gravity pulls them back to the bottom floor. An elevator lifts the marbles to the top of the run and you never know which direction they are going to flow. The machine runs long enough you should be able to walk around to see most of the various tracks used. My kids were mesmerized the last time we watched it in action.
In November the museum is opening a Dinosaur exhibit, so you can bet we’ll be back for that one!
I love science … I love there is a place in Hong Kong I can take my kids to explore science … and I am pleased my kids love science too!