It is very difficult to convince a three year old that there are more fun things to see and do after being introduced to the flying, chiming, zooming, and leaping balls of Vulcan’s Dream Machine. The art piece is the first sight you see when you step from the elevators from the parking deck into the Grand Lobby. It is sometimes difficult to convince older children (and even adults) that more levels of exciting activities wait around the curve of the spacious lobby.
Once you are able to pull away from “The Ball Machine,” other distractions pull you farther into the center. High screens of constantly changing information about what the McWane Science Center offers may catch your eye with a robot talking about having a birthday party at the McWane Science Center. Or you might see information about the latest exhibit or an upcoming exhibit.
A few steps on are three larger screens, displaying a variety of information. You might see lightning streaking across a stage while an unseen audience screams with delight; or a balloon exploding in light, the audience gasping with excitement. “Where and when can I see THAT?” you want to know. The center board has a map of Level One and the times of the day’s programs listed. On the final screen are the IMAX® films with their current show times. If you miss the IMAX times on the information screens, they are posted behind the ticketing counter.
The screens at ticketing keep up the flow of information and excitement. The prices are listed and the robot is there too, piquing your children’s interest while you receive all the vital information about your visit from the ticketing representative. On one screen, the robot will let you know about birthday parties and membership at the McWane Science Center. On the other, your child will be watching for him to pop up, sneaking peeks over and around the prices. The robot, by the way, is MAC, McWane Science Center’s robot who will occasionally roll around Level One, greeting visitors and talking about what is happening at the McWane Science Center that day.
Past the ticketing counter are more interesting distractions before you step into the Adventure Halls. First there is the IMAX® Concession Stand, where the smell of fresh popcorn wafts, tempting you to grab a bag (please remember though, there is no food or drink allowed in the Adventure Halls.) Then there is the MAXFLIGHT 2000, where you are turned topsy-turvy in a simulated roller coaster ride, if you are at least 48 inches tall. Above MAXFLIGHT 2000 is a net. Why is there a net above our lobby? It’s under the High Cycle to catch falling objects, not falling people (no matter what a ten year old might tell his little sister.) And there is the vortex, the amazing gravity powered coin spin which is not only fun to do, but helps fund the fun!