Jun 102015
 
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The EcoTarium Worcester MA

My family recently visited the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA.  We’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time, so the boys were really excited when I told them that we were going. The EcoTarium, New England’s leading science and nature center, is a unique indoor-outdoor museum that offers visitors a chance to walk through the treetops, take a thrilling multimedia journey through the galaxy at a digital planetarium, meet wildlife, stroll nature trails, and get hands-on with tons of family-friendly exhibits.

**Disclosure:  My family received complimentary admission to the EcoTarium in exchange for our honest review. As always, all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Inside, the EcoTarium has three floors of interactive exhibits.

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In addition to seasonal exhibits, the EcoTarium has many permanent exhibits including:

  • African Communities
  • Bubbles!
  • Collections at the EcoTarium
  • Curator’s Workshop
  • Freshwater
  • Minerals
  • Play on the Plaza
  • Preschool Discovery Area
  • Secrets of the Forest
  • Water Planet

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My boys are very hands on and really enjoyed all the interactive exhibits.

Ecotarium Boys

In addition to all the interactive displays at the museum, there are tons of animals that call the EcoTarium home.  You’ll find Bald Eagles, a Chinchilla, an Emperor Scorpion, Frogs, a Giant African Millipede, a Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach (ew), Hawks, Hedgehogs, Lizards, Macaws, a North American Porcupine, Owls, a Red Fox, a River Otter, Salamanders, Snakes, a Striped Skunk, Turtles and a Virginia Opossum there.

The highlight of the day for my boys (all three of them) was this hurricane simulator.  We spent a good long while getting blown to bits inside this thing.

Side note – if you ever get a chance to try one one, do it – it’s amazing to feel the force of those high winds.

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Outside, while visiting the EcoTarium, you can stroll nature trails, play with interactive exhibits on the plaza or walk in the treetops.
The EcoTarium is set on 55 acres of land that includes woodlands, ponds and marshland, and meadow habitats.

The plaza, located at the museum’s main entrance, is fun for kids of all ages.  There the kids can play some tunes on the Tube-A-Phone, which is a kid-sized sculpture that blends music, science, and art. You can investigate the science behind suds, at the splashy Bubbles! exhibit. Over at the Invention Space, you can make your own moving inventions on a giant gear board – a favorite with my guys. You can even challenge a friend (or your mom) to a game on a giant checkers set!

Ecotarium bubbles

Extras:

1. Tree Canopy WalkwayThe Tree Canopy Walkway offers a fun, safe and educational introduction to the science of the tree canopy.  Kids as young as 5 can do it.

Ticket price: $10 (plus museum admission)/$8 EcoTarium members

2.  The Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater

Tickets can be purchased at the Tickets and Information Desk on the day of your visit.

  • $5 per person (plus museum admission)
  • $4 per person for EcoTarium members

The EcoTarium is located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, MA, The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for children (2-18), and $10 for seniors (65+) and students. Parking is free.

You can get more information about the EcoTarium here.

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  161 Responses to “A Visit to the EcoTarium”

  1. This looked like a fun outing and definitely would love to take my girls there if and when I could. Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. We love visiting museums because the kids learn so much. I wish we could also visit the EcoTarium. It would have been so fun to walk through those treetops, meet wildlife, do the trails, and enjoy the family-friendly exhibits.

  3. Sounds like a fun place to check out with the family. I know my science loving kids would love all of those hands on exhibits. We’ll be sure to visit when we are in the area.

    • I agree, I love museums that have hands on exhibits. The hurricane simulator also sounds pretty neat.

  4. Wow! There really is a lot to do there! I think my “kids” (who aren’t so little!) would still really like all of the different exhibits and interactive activities. We may be going to a place similar to this in Ohio this summer.

  5. That looks really fun! My kids are always up for learning and adventure mixed into one place! I love this!

  6. Neat! We have hurricane simulators in the mall, but living in hurricane country, I think that’s an easy sell. 🙂

    This looks like a great place to visit. How long would you recommend a family plan to visit?

    Thanks.

  7. Looks like a lot of fun. My son loves going to places like this!

  8. This souinds like a fun family outing! I know my girls would especially love the Bubbles Exhibit and the Hurricane Simulator! lol I’d like the Tree Canopy! This is such a good way to actively engage in learning…like checking out a Hedgehog in person!

  9. WOW they have a lot in one building. It looks like a great place to visit! How fun!

  10. I know for a fact that I would really love to visit this Ecoterium!! I would have to find a motel to stay overnight but I’m sure there are some around there. Or maybe I could make it back and forth in one day–maybe.

  11. I absolutely love anything that is geared towards children exploring and learning new things. This looks like so much fun too!

  12. This place looks awesome. Fun and educational! I think my boys would enjoy this place! 🙂

  13. We have been to the Ecotarium a few times. We are about 45 minutes from Wista! 🙂 Fun place, glad your boys enjoyed the hands on experiences.

  14. It looks a lot like our local children’s museum, but I love the name they chose. It really shows what their primary theme & goals are.

  15. Museums are fun to go to with kids, doesn’t it? We plan on hitting as many museums as we can this year.

  16. This looks like such a fun {and educational} place! 😀

  17. This looks like a really fun summer outing for the family.

  18. My son just did the hurricane machine not long ago too. That day you had does sound fun!

  19. My inlaws live in that town. I will definitely check it out the next time we are visiting.

  20. Wow … what an awesome place! Wish we lived closer.

  21. This looks like so much fun for kids! Places like this are a great way to get kids interested and involved in learning.

  22. That looks like a great museum. So much to do and hands on, what a fun way to learn!

  23. That looks like so much fun! I love it when kids get to explore the materials and really understand the science behind it.

  24. Oh wow, what a great looking place! My family loves visiting museums and science centers like this one. There’s always something new to look at or discover, and with everything being so interactive, my kids could stay all day!

  25. I’ve been to Worcester. I remember posing with the Gorton’s guy. That looks like a fun trip for you.

  26. This is something totally up our alley! We love this stuff! It’s too far for me to go to from here, but I will be checking out to see if there is something closer to us similar to this! You all look like you had a great time!

  27. This sounds like a really neat place to visit. I love going to museums. As I am always learning visiting them.

  28. It looks like you guys had a great time there!

  29. We love this place! I live in CO now but I’m from CT and my husband is from Western MA so we brought my oldest son to the Ecotarium and had so much fun!

  30. I would love the tree canopy walkway! Looks like a great & educational place to take the kids.

  31. What a fun little spot to take the kids. I remember being terrified of the animals when I was a kid haha.

  32. How fun! You guys do the best things. You must have the happiest kids on the planet just enjoying life. I haven’t ever been to an eco-tarium before. It looks and sounds like such fun!

  33. what a fun place! I would love to take my son to a place like that! Thanks!

  34. This looks like such an awesome place to visit! My son would never want to leave, he is a total science kid!

  35. Wow – this really sounds like an amazing place to visit. My boys are both super curious so I love any place that makes learning tons of fun!

  36. This looks like a great place to take the kids. Especially when the say they have nothing to do. Seems like there is a lot to do there,.

  37. What a fun place to “play”. I am always looking for great places that are hands-on for kids. My kids want to touch everything anyway! Lol.

  38. This looks like such a great adventure! So fun!

  39. I’m loving all the hands on learning across a variety of subjects. This would be an awesome place to visit!

  40. The EcoTarium looks like an amazing place! It’s nice to see how educational it is, great to bring the kids too.

  41. Wow! My kids LOVE places like that! If we get up that way, we’ll have to stop by to see it!

  42. I was just thinking about going there! I think Addie would love it- she’s such a little science nerd!

  43. I’ve never heard of this place, but it looks great! I always love taking my toddler to places that are designed to be educational, even though he’s still young enough that a fair bit of it is over his head at this point.

  44. I think i asked before, But will you adopt me. You go to the neatest places.

  45. I love that stuffed bear in the photo. It is huge and is really spectacular to look at.

  46. This reminds me of the St. Louis Science Center. It looks like you and the kids had a great time.

  47. WOW! It looks like you could easily spend the entire day here. I love that it has the nature trails and canopy walk, you can get educated and get exercise!

  48. This looks like a wonderful place for the entire family! That tornado simulators sounds super fun! I bet we’d all love it as well.

  49. You can tell I have a boy because the first thing that caught my eye was the Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach!! My kids would get a huge kick out of visiting the EcoTarium!

  50. Ow wow this place looks amazing! I love how its so interactive. It looks like your kids are really having a blast!

  51. I love museums and this looks like a great one!! I think learning about ecotariums would be really neat!!

  52. This looks like a ton of fun. Kinda reminds me of our science museum.

  53. This reminds me of a science museum we visited in Vermont. Looks so fun!

  54. This looks like so much fun! I would love to get into the hurricane simulator and treetop canopy!

  55. This looks like an absolute blast! My kids would love this!

  56. We love taking the girls to hands on places like this! If we were close by, we’d definitely pay a visit!

  57. I have been in a hurricane simulator before and it really is amazing to feel the forces of the wind. Also interesting to watch others in the simulator. Looks like you guys had a great time!

  58. The EcoTarium – never heard of this type of adventure – sounds fascinating – when my son was about 9 yrs old, we went on a train with one of his friends to the LA Kis interactive museum – and such a great time – so I can identify a bit

  59. The Ecotarium sounds like a fun family day trip! My kids would love the bubbles for sure!

  60. I bet my family would love this place. So much to do all in one! Looks like so much fun!

  61. My hubby and daughter would love to visit this place… Thanks for sharing!

  62. Your family look like you had a real good time! Great way to keep kiddies occupied for the summer.

  63. YOU go to all the fun places!!! I want to go take me with you LOL

  64. Wow this looks awesome! I would definitely want to go and visit! Great price too! Thanks for sharing.

  65. Wow this place looks and sounds like a lot of fun! I’ll have to take my kids there one day!

  66. This sounds like an awesome family activity indeed and we so love museums. This Ecotarium would be so interesting and I would so love to go in the hurricane simulator. Thanks for sharing.

  67. I’ve been dying to see what those wind tunnels are all about. It looks like a great place for kids!

  68. What a fun day for the whole family. There are so much to do there.

  69. That is a whole lot of fun and education packed into one place. Great place to take the family and very reasonable prices.

  70. We’ve never been there, but it sounds like a fun place to visit. Looks like you had so much fun.

  71. This place kind of reminds me of the cool stuff you can do at the natural sciences museum in Indianapolis and even the St. Louis science center. It looks like a ton of fun that you can also learn at the same time. 🙂

  72. I love these kinds of interactive places. They’re fun for adults too not just the kids!

  73. My little guy loves nature and science. The price of this is incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  74. Do the exhibits rotate? I’d love to see that National Geo theatre!

  75. What a great place to visit. We live in NH so we’re not too far away. I may just need to plan a visit there – my kids would love it!

  76. Looks like a seriously cool outing for the kids – and those ticket prices are super cheap for so much to do!

  77. That looks super cool! We don’t have anything like this near us 🙁

  78. My son would love this! Especially the bubbles. Looks like a pretty neat place.

  79. Museums are fun places to take kids. We live taking our kids to different ones like art, history and science.

  80. This looks like such an awesome field trip opportunity. I just wish it was a little bit closer. Definitely putting it on my “Places I’d love to visit” board. Who knows, maybe it will happen one of these days. I really want to take the children to a place like this.

  81. The Ecotarium looks great. I’ve always found that places like that are perfect to get young minds interested in learning.

  82. My kids would love Ecotarium. Interactive learning is always the best.

  83. This looks like an awesome place to visit! My boys would love it for sure! Thanks so much for sharing!

  84. I love taking our son to educational places like that. We don’t have one here in the city, but there’s one in Charlotte that we haven’t visited yet. Soon, I hope.

  85. It looks like you had a lot of fun. I like how many hands on activities they have. It would be neat to go in the hurricane simulator.

  86. It look likes a great fun place to visit with the kids. For sure they will love it!

  87. Girl I want to be YOU! You do all the fun trips and outings I always want to do. The boys would love that place.

  88. I love seeing all the paces you and your family visits! I want to taje my kids to something like this asap.

  89. How I wish we had something like this at my location. Really great place to have some fun and at the same time, learn something around.

  90. hurricane simulator? I thought for a second that it was a time machine. It looks like the the whole family had a lot of fun

  91. Oh wow, this looks like it was a really great experience. There is so many things to be learned here.

  92. This looks like such a fun and educational place for the family to visit. I would love to go if I am ever in the area.

  93. My kids have always loved place like this. My husband and I too! I’m completely intrigued with the hurricane simulator. Did it leave them never wanting to live anywhere in the hurricane season area? We were in Northern VA during hurricane season and even though it’s not in the mainstream path the wind was nuts!

  94. That sounds so fun! My kids would all love to visit and have a blast!

  95. Such a fun place too take the kiddos! We are doing a road trip, will consider stopping gy!

  96. This sounds like fun. I love that it doesn’t cost that much.

  97. My girls would love this! I’ll definitely have to add it to our “to do” list when we are in the area visiting Grandma and Grandpa later in the summer.

  98. My kids would have loved something like this when they were younger. They were all about science museums and things like that.

  99. Okay, now this sounds like such a fun place to visit. We love taking the family places where we can all do something and this sounds perfect!

  100. I would love to add this to my “bucket list”. I think all of my children would have a great time.

  101. This is so cool! My son would love this place.

  102. I have never heard of a Ecotarium before. Looks like it was a fun trip for the kids.

  103. I actually had a little blogger meetup there last summer! If only I had known you then! It’s so awesome. My son was barely two then so I think he’d like it more this year. We loved the animals and the hurricane simulator.

  104. My son loves hands on exhibits. He would have a blast here.

  105. The EcoTarium, like other hands-on venues, sounds like so much fun! I’m glad the kids enjoyed it. It was good of you to show the difference between member and non-member prices and include the extra fees for the things nearly everyone will want to do. It’s always nice when there are no surprises.

  106. My kids like to visit fun and educational places like the EcoTarium. I’m glad you shared what you saw there on your visit. Looks like a nice place to go with the family.

  107. this looks like a great learning museum for kids. My kids love visiting new and fun museums.

  108. My son loves visiting museums! He would LOVE to see that huge bear!

  109. I can easily see our family spending an entire day exploring a place like this. I have actually never experienced any type of planetarium so that would be our first stop.

  110. I would LOVE to visit Massachusettes! I’ve never been and the exhibits look amazing here!

  111. my kids would love this place!! And those wind machines are incredible. it’s really something to stand there… or TRY to stand there and feel that force.

  112. I want to take my kids to the one we have here in Chicago. I love the bear in the picture behind the kids. haha

  113. The nature trails sounds like fun. We love going on nature walks, definitely sounds up our alley.

  114. I like that the activities are interactive. Sometimes exhibits can get long for little one so interaction is great

  115. This sounds fun and educational. That is a great idea for kids!

  116. I love going to things like this with my hubby. It looks like a lot of fun hands on activities.

  117. This looks like a fantastic place for the whole family. I love when learning is made fun for kids.

  118. What a cool place to spend the day with the kids. My daughter would love it.

  119. I love places that have interactive exhibits like this. It makes it more fun for the children too!

  120. This looks like loads of fun. right up my families alley for a good time. All of the exhibits, cultural exploration. Love it.

  121. My husband loves science. This looks like it would make for a fun day!

  122. Looks like a great place to visit. My son loves the science museum so he would love it.

  123. I love museums that allow kids to experience the world with multiple senses!

  124. I think Bubbles! sounds fun. Science and Industry type museums are always so much fun. I loved them as a child and love taking my child now.
    Lee

  125. I wish I lived closer. Looks like fun.

  126. Looks like so much fun. We visit MA in the summer – this might be something worth looking into. My kids would have a great time here!

  127. The EcoTarium sounds like a wonderful place to go with the family! I love interactive displays like the ones they have. EcoTarium reminds me of a place called COSI that we have near us.

  128. That would be such a cool place to hang out for the day. We would definitely all be entertained at this ecotarium!

  129. I love places like this. So fun and interactive for the kids. Not to mention educational.

  130. That looks like a lot of fun. I think my son would love to visit there.

  131. I love hands on places like this! My kids would have a blast there for sure!

  132. What an interactive place! Looks like the whole family had a blast.

  133. Looks like everyone had a blast. We love visiting places like this and just letting the kids run wild all day. Okay not literally, but you know what I mean.

  134. That looks like such a fun place. We are visiting our grandchildren in Sacramento soon I am going to have to check if they have a place like this. Your boys look like they had a great time!

  135. That is a great price to visit the museum. I would totally take my kids to visit the museum.

  136. My boys would really love to visit this place especially my 10 year old so is into this kind of stuff.

  137. wow! how super interactive. Boys would love this.

  138. The Ecotarium sounds like a lot of fun! It reminds me of a place called Discovery Zone that I visited as a kid.

  139. This looks like such an place! I need to put this on my family vacation list!

  140. They have a place near me like this, my kids love going there.

  141. This looks like such a wonderful trip Robin. My little one loves everything science. She would have blast with the bubbles.

  142. My kids would love this place! I need to see if we have something similar in our area.

  143. Looks like a fun place to spend a day! We have a hurricane simulator in our mall!

  144. Looks like fun! We are really big on hands-on places. Fun and interaction for the whole family.

  145. My kids would love this place…and especially the big bear. We went camping last night and we didn’t see any. Thanking my lucky stars.

  146. That looks great! If we are ever in the area I will be sure to add that to our list!

  147. Oooo This place looks fun! I love going to places like this that kids and the kid at heart folks (like me) can both have a great time 🙂

  148. That looks like such a fun place to visit! Moms and dads both have a fun time. I have never been in that area before.

  149. I’ve always wanted to take the kids here. Wasn’t sure if the price was worth it. Looked like you had a great time

  150. My kids would go nuts for a place like this. I wish we had something like this in our area. They love anything hands on.

  151. That looks like such a fun place to visit! Love all the pictures you shared.

  152. Local learning museums and places are great. They always have something different to offer and kids can always benefit from seeing new things.