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Great Lakes Science Center on Lake Erie – Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

NASA Glenn Visitor Center Great Lakes Science Center shuttle cockpit

The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio is a neat place for kids and adults. It has hundreds of hands-on exhibits giving something for everyone. Being that Ohio has a long history with space exploration it is only natural that the Great Lakes Science Center has a exhibit hall and exhibits on outer space and how and what mankind has learned from it and what mankind has used to explore space.

NASA Glenn Visitor Center apollo capsule skylab 3 real spacecraft moon

For those space explorers, the NASA Glenn Visitor Center includes more than 50 exhibits and artifacts such as shuttle and rocket models and the giant Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module which in 1973 took three astronauts to the Skylab Space Station and 60 days later returned them back to earth, a real piece of space history. Other neat artifacts and exhibits include a real moon rock, a mock lunar lander model and much more! Total completion of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center is to be completed in 2012. There are several simulators for flight practice and a real space suit and other things to explore and marvel at.

NASA Glenn Visitor Center Great Lakes Science Center hands on exhibits human

Also on the main floor is the Biomedical Technology gallery which teaches about the advances in modern medicine and how doctors keep on the forefront of the field of biomedical technology. It includes information on stem cells, how MRIs work, and how robotic machines are helping to rehabilitate people. The exhibit has 6 areas of biomedical technology which includes genomics, stem cells, prosthetic, functional electrical stimulation (FES), infectious disease and medical imaging. There is much much more to learn and do.

2nd Floor Science Phenomena floor Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland, Oh escalator

Go upstairs from the NASA and Biomedical sections and you will get to have some real scientific learning and fun while on the Science Phenomena floor. There is a huge selection of hands-on exhibits that will keep people entertained and curious and is a place for that scientist in each of us. Exhibits include the science of light, optics, sound, resonance, motion, mechanics, electricity, magnetism and weather. We had fun with the smoke ring generator, water vortex creator, indoor tornado and the Shadow Room which is very cool because it uses the phenomenon of photoluminescence which freezes your shadow on the wall by means of a strobe light. Other exhibits that are very interesting is the bridge of fire which is a 200,000 volt static generator along with many other fun and puzzling things to do and see. There are things to do for all ages and all types of people.

NASA Glenn Visitor Center Great Lakes Science Center cloud rings 2nd Floor Science Phenomena floor Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland, Oh

NASA Glenn Visitor Center Great Lakes Science Center huge geode gem mineral

Other things-to-do for those visitors 7 years of age and under is the Polymer Funhouse which gives kids a chance to let it all out along with that extra energy. Click here for more info on the Polymer Funhouse. And for the whole family and every age group is to experience their OMNIMAX® Theater. Their giant six stories high domed screen will immerse you in breathtaking images and ultra-real digital sound making it something to remember forever, not like the rest of the science center would be easy to forget. Click here for a current listing of what is now playing.

And dependent on seasons, one thing we didn’t get to visit was the steamship William G. Mather on Lake Erie. This is a real 1925-built steamship that allows guests to check out the Mather from stem to stern, all 618-feet of history. You can see its huge cargo holds, brass and oak pilot house, elegant guest quarters and a massive four-story engine room. And that is just the interior. You can also walk the decks and see how these ginormous ships transformed Northeast Ohio into a great industrial center. Its schedule of operation is May, September, October; weekends only, and during June, July, August it is open from Tuesday thru Sunday.

Mather Steamship Great Lakes Science Center

Courtesy Great Lakes Science Center

Next door, a couple of hundred feet is the world famous Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which we visited next. Before you exit the Science Center, there are a few attractions on the bottom floor like this echo disk. On each side of the room are these 2 big dishes about 70 feet apart. You talking into the center of one and the person on the other side can hear as clear as day what you say, even if you whisper. We spent some minutes here playing around with them. And who doesn’t like hot air balloons?

Great Lakes Science Center Echo DiscsHot Air Balloon Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland We were provided with free admission to the Great Lakes Science Center of Cleveland, Ohio.



  1. Sandy VanHoey on June 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

    This looks like a great place to visit. I am originally from Michigan, not too far away to go here and never knew about it. I would like to see the freighter. We use to see them go up and down the river daily in Michigan where I lived and it was so awesome. Now that I’ve moved away, it makes you miss it and realized the beauty we saw daily. Looks like a fun place to visit with the family.

  2. Amanda on April 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    this looks awesome!

  3. shelly peterson on April 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds like a super fun place to visit, my kids would have a blast there. I would love going to the OMNIMAX Theater.