Date visited: January 16, 2016
Hours: Tue-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5, closed Mon
Youth 3–17: $9.50
Children Under 2: Free
Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free – youth included
There is a parking lot by the science museum entrance with about 50 or so spaces. There is an overflow parking lot across the street. Parking is free.
The museums in Springfield, MA, are not your usual museums. For one, there are four museums, rather than one. Secondly, on the grounds of one of the museums is another perhaps bigger attraction, the Dr. Suess National Memorial Garden.
There are four museums are the Springfield Museums. I spent most of the time at the Springfield Science Museum
and the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
The two art and sculpture museums do not allow photography.
The Springfield Science Museum is bigger than it appears on the outside. It is three floors (a first and second floor with a lower level). The exhibits range from live animals (mostly fish and other smaller animals such as turtles) to dinosaur bones and artifacts.
There was so much to absorb in those few levels. But, my two favorite parts of this particular museum had to be the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the demonstration put on by the staff in which the patrons, the children who were visiting, got to find out how fortune teller fish work.
From the moment you enter the science museum your senses are attracted to all of the interesting items in the main entrance. The main themes of the museum are the products of the Springfield, MA, area such as Dr. Seuss and Indian Motorcycles which were manufactured in Springfield.
Two former residents of Springfield reside in the museum.
These animals used to be part of the The Zoo In Forest Park (post about this wonderful park to come in the spring or summer). When they died, they were stuffed and put on display.
There is a wide variety of fish and other animal life on the lower level. You have to look closely but the first image is of a shy salmon camouflaged against the rocks. In fact, many of the animals were shy.
There were also a variety of toys, art work and fun items for kids of all ages and sizes to enjoy like the skeleton with the Dr. Seuss hat on (note the tie-in to Springfield) and mirrors that make you look smaller and wider, just when I didn’t think I could feel worse about my weight ( :
The second and third levels of the museum have a dinosaur exhibit, planetarium, historical items, models of animals and a variety of other items.
The historical museum, located across the street from the science museum, is a little smaller but it also has a wide variety of displays.
During my visit, the museum was displaying the Better Angels tribute to the fallen firefighters from September 11, 2001. The portrait artist who made the display is from nearby East Longmeadow. The exhibit will be on display until June of this year.
After seeing this touching tribute, some of the other attractions seem trivial. There are a variety of old time cars and a fire exhibit in the main area. There is also an educational play area for children (and adults if you’re inclined).
The Springfield Museums are a great place to visit. Time seems to go by quickly while you’re there so it’s easy to lose track of time. But, it is fun for the entire family.