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Pacific Science Center in Seattle
© Erin Hogan

The Pacific Science Center in Seattle

200 Second Avenue North

Seattle, Washington


Written by Scott Messmore
The Pacific Science Center is one of Seattle's major attractions and was the first designated science education organization created in the United States. Located underneath the Seattle Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center hosts more than a million visitors a year. The Pacific Science Center has a wide range of hands on science exhibits, animal areas and two IMAX movies. The Pacific Science Center opened in 1962 as part of the World's Fair held in Seattle. It was then known as the United States Science Pavilion and proved to be
a popular exhibit. Just a day after the World's Fair closed, the Pacific Science Center opened with a single visitor paying to see the exhibits. In the nearly 40 years since its opening day, the Pacific Science Center has been host to the crew of Apollo 12, was the first museum in the United States to display moon rocks, took seismic recordings of the Mount St. Helens volcanic explosion in 1980 and added a planetarium. Visitors to Seattle will have plenty to see, touch and do at the Pacific Science
Water Works at Pacific Science Center in Seattle
© Erin Hogan

Permanent and Annual Exhibits

The Pacific Science Center has a wide range of permanent exhibits and special events held each year. In August, museum staffers promise plenty of `good, clean fun' with the Bubble Festival. During the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, the Pacific Science Center is the depot for the Model Railroad Show. Gross Out Week is held in April to allow school kids that change to ask museum staff some really gross questions about the world of science. Kids will also have a great time digging up some fossilized bones during the month of May's Dino Days event. Permanent exhibits (see related story) include the creepy crawly residents of Insect Village; a 10-foot tall robot that plays tic- tac-toe in the Tech Zone; thousands of winged creatures in the Tropical Butterfly House and even a two ton granite ball suspended on water in the Water Works section. Kids of all ages can stand in reproduced dinosaur footprints in Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time or see how strong
your grip is in the Body Works area. In the Weather Center you can track Seattle weather patterns with live Doppler radar or try and catch your shadow at Kids Works. Until September 2001, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit is showing Pacific Science Center visitors actual pieces of the doomed ocean liner.

Hours of Operation and Location

The Pacific Science Center is located at 200 Second Avenue North, under the arches near Seattle's Space Needle. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and holidays, the museum is open from 10 a.m.
Tech Zone at Pacific Science Center
© Carol Harrold
to 6 p.m.

For more information about the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, call 206-443-2001.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015