After our previous very unfortunate and “ill-fated” visit to Granada – ill-fated because after scrimping and saving in order to take my son to the Science Museum of Granada (Parque de las Ciencias) for his birthday – when we finally got to go, since museums here in Spain usually close on Mondays, we very deliberately made sure to go on a Tuesday…… and it was closed! The only week of the year in which the Science Museum opened on Monday in order to close on Tuesday, because it was a holiday, and that was the week we chose to go!
So at any rate, as a very belated (as in, one year and one month late) birthday present, we finally managed to get into the museum.
We’re very hard put to get to Granada, even though it’s not that far from Malaga, only about an hour by car. But if you don’t have a car, it’s a 60€ round trip for three people, and of course, when two of these three people are unemployed minors, guess who has to foot the bill?
We watched a falconry display (actually, more accurately a bird of prey show) featuring an owl, an eagle and a falcon. The falcon took off for a long flight and most spectators got bored waiting for it to return and left. People today have such short attention spans!
The Science Museum also boasts a large Butterfly Zoo with exotic species from around the world. It was supposed to be a “tropical” zoo, but I think it was hotter outside (it was a very hot day, about 36º Celsius) than inside the zoo.
One girl enjoyed the immense good fortune of actually persuading a butterfly to alight in her hand.
This is a machine for creating tornados and hurricanes in the water.
The Science Museum has a tall tower with an observatory at the top, which you can reach by going up in a glass elevator. I took photos of the view of Granada from all around the tower, but most of them only came out so-so because Granada doesn’t have a particularly compelling skyline.
One thing that was quite strange, however, was that there was still snow on top of Sierra Nevada, now in June, in spite of the most impressive heat that we were experiencing in the city (36º Celsius of pure, cloudless sunshine).
You can choose to walk down by stairs instead of going down in the elevator, if you like. (You can also choose to walk up, but I doubt that that is a choice many would make.) If you choose to walk down, at every landing there is a sign telling you what height you are at, and some object on earth which is the same height.
My sons don’t work as workmen. But there was an activity that let you feel what it would be like to work in that profession.
These odd, irradiant spacemen are not spacemen at all, but rather, my sons on an infrared camera. They had the time of it jumping around in front of the camera!
At the entrance to the museum are some balls that show how planets were originally formed, made with very finely-sifted, coloured sand floating in water, that you can spin around. You can see they also make stupendous carousels for children to ride on.
My oldest son, who is a science junkie, couldn’t get enough of the museum, and read every single word on every single information panel. My youngest son, however, was thoroughly bored and tuned out about halfway through the visit. My recommendation if you plan to visit the museum with small children who aren’t particularly crazy about science? I would say to divide the visit over two days, if at all possible.
The museum is usually open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 in the morning till 7 at night, it closes at 3 in the afternoon on Sundays, Mondays closed. But of course, as mentioned above, they are subject to unpredictable variations in their schedule, so if you are planning to go and you don’t live in Granada, check out their website to make sure it is open on the day you want to visit!
Their usual entrance fee is just 6,50 € for adults and 5,50 € for children ages 6 to 16 (wish “children” were considered children at all places, in most places round here “childhood” only lasts till the age of 13! Sigh!) and retired persons. There is also parking (paying, of course). Or you could try parking on the nearby streets for free (just make sure the tow truck doesn’t happen by or it will be far from free!).
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