For our 15th experience adventure, we explored the Museum of Science and History (The MOSH) in Jacksonville, Florida.
The museum sits on the scenic edge of the Southbank River Walk and opened to the public at the current location in 1969. A planetarium was added in 1988. The most recent renovation came in 1994, even though the planetarium received a technology refresh in 2010.
The colorful, outdoor space represents a natural habitat setting for insects and butterflies and several signs with information are posted so that the learning begins before visitors enter the building. 🙂 I like that!
82,200 square feet of museum space is divided into three levels of exhibits, including the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium and the Hixon Native Plant Courtyard. The main exhibit constantly changes and highlights different topics, while the other halls are permanent.
My daughters and I chose this museum because the main exhibit (which rotates) showcased ancient Rome and Roman history until January 28, 2018.
The massive exhibit featured a wide array of Roman history, culture, simple machines, weaponry, statues, art, clothing and architectural engineering.
We found the area clean, organized, well maintained and everything in working order within the main hall, which changes its display often.
Though I always appreciate hands-on, interactive exhibits, this one lacked information and left me wanting more explanation. Some “stations” offered awesome gadgets and instruments to touch and examine, but the educational material was minimal, insignificant, or missing altogether.
We enjoyed the permanent Jacksonville and Northeast Florida history hall called Currents of Time. It leads visitors through an extensive and visual timeline beginning with the Timucuas and ending in the 1960’s, which represents 12,000 years of Floridian history. We spent the most time in this section.
The Jacksonville, Florida history exhibit showcases one of the best visual and educational timelines we have experienced in a museum. However, the other halls appear gloomy, dark, dingy and significantly lacked updating.
The Atlantic Tails and Hixon Native Plant Courtyard both present dated and “well-loved” displays and need a good cleaning, repairs, updates, and/or re-tweaking. Even though the touch tank was supposed to be available from 11 am to 2 pm, there was nothing in it except slime.
Other exhibits are simple and very limited, though each section did present several hands-on activities.
The entire third floor focused on a tiny area with brain teaser stations. My daughters enjoyed the problem solving, but the exhibit is not substantial and only a fraction of what it could and should be.
Overall, I give the Museum of Science and History a mediocre “C” rating. The regional history hall and Roman exhibit saved it from a failing grade, in my opinion. Our tickets included general admission and 1 program at the planetarium, but my daughters grew bored quickly and did not want to wait around for the show. If my girls want to leave a museum, there is a problem. We left feeling unfulfilled.
Visit the museum for the Jacksonville and Northeast Florida walkthrough-history timeline.
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle, Jacksonville, Florida, 32207. It is open 7 days a week and until 8pm on Friday nights. For more information, visit www.themosh.org or call 904-396-6674.
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