Located on the University of Arizona campus, this is the place to go for astronomy buffs of all ages. Attend the special ... More
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium
Located on the University of Arizona campus, this is the place to go for astronomy buffs of all ages. Attend the special planetarium shows. Have fun doing the hands-on science exhibits and exploring the history of planet earth at the mineral museum. The planetarium show themes change every month, so call ahead for details.
Reviews for Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium: 5
By A Yahoo Contributor, 8/27/10
We went to the Flandrau today to see the fantastic Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin laser shows. The planetarium is doing great considering the financial cuts made to the Arizona University system to help balance the State's budget. Flandrau gets little funding now and is largely self-supporting, so they are putting on the big shows to draw in more people. The recession has brought hard times for public universities all over the country right now. The Flandrau people are great and the planetarium is stellar. Go and you will have a great time there!
What has happened to this once great institution? In its early days it was on the forefront of planetarium technology, producing wonderful shows - in house. Now it is a tired old mess. It seems that any 'new' shows are adapted from out of town rentals. A poor showing for a planetarium located in the center of optical astronomy in the US.
Exhibits? Unfortunately, the number and quality has been in steady decline for years. I'm sure funding has a lot to do with it, but many less prestigious institutions seem to do more with less.
There was a nice flurry of activity - 4 or 5 new exhibits in their early stages of development were presented in a 'Design Garage.' but that was two years ago. Nothing substantive has really happened since and these 'new' things are now falling apart. Recently, in conjunction with the Phoenix Mars project, which was a UofA project, a Mars Wall was added - a scaled topographic map of Mars about 9' x 20' - and it is quite impressive.
One good thing has come about recently; they do not charge to enter the building to see the few exhibits they do have. But call ahead. They have also recently seriously curtailed their public hours. Curiously, they are frequently not even open then, opting instead to give visitors who show up at the door a 2 for 1 pass to use the next time they come.
If you do find the place open, The Uof A Mineral Museum, located in the basement, is definitely worth a visit. Though not displayed to it's best advantage, it is one of the finest collections in the US. If you're into minerals at all, don't miss it.
Go to see the Mars Wall, the Mineral Museum, take in a show -The Planetarium - even with old shows - is still a magical environment.
All in all a poor effort for an institution preparing to open a new, larger facility in downtown Tucson in a few years. The U apparently can't run a small science center with any vigor. what makes anyone think they'll be able to run a larger one? Gee's!
I agree that kids under 4 should not be allowed in the planetarium. There are exhibits where they could get hurt and would generally be hurting things more than helping. This place is definitely a great venue. Try and be a better parent and not take underage children to a place with a billion things for them to choke on and with another billion things that could hurt them.
I'm sorry, but the majority of kids under four can't shut up or sit still and end up ruining the experience for everyone else, hence the rule. The planetarium is great. I'm sorry if the previous poster considers their child the exception, but that's no reason to rate this place 2 stars.
I was disappointed to find out that they don't allow children under the age of 4 insude the planetarium. I was very excited to take my three year old son who is fascinated with the stars, planets and space in general. It's a shame they have put an age limit on who would appreciate this.
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