When you first arrive
If you parked under our building in the Science Center/Riverfront Garage, simply take the elevator to our Lobby to begin your visit.
If you parked in another garage, or took public transportation:
- Enter the Science Center through the Columbus Boulevard Entrance. From there, take the elevator, escalator, or Grand Staircase to the Lobby Level.
- Enter from our Phoenix Plaza/Lobby Level entrances on the North (coming from Constitution Plaza and Riverfront areas) and East (coming from the Connecticut Convention Center). Both entrances bring you directly into the Lobby.
If you are going to Purchase Tickets or Membership:
Use the General Admission line at the Ticketing Area. As a rule the lines move pretty quickly, but you may encounter some wait time as we give personal attention to visitors. Keep in mind you'll receive the same consideration when we welcome you to the desk.
If you have a Complimentary Ticket Voucher:
Use the General Admission line.
If you are a Premier Member:
Use the “Express Entry” line at the Ticketing Area. Please have your Membership and valid photo IDs ready. We'll validate your cards, provide you with wristbands, and get you going on your visit.
Even in the “Express Entry” line, you may experience a little wait, but it will move more quickly than General Admission.
When you purchase an Admission Ticket, or when you check-in as a Premier Member holder, you'll receive a wristband providing entry into the Exhibit Galleries. Your wristband needs to be visible at all times.
Admission tickets and wristbands are valid only for the day they are issued. If you are coming multiple days, you will need to purchase a ticket for each day of your visit and receive a new wristband each day.
If you are a Member, you will need to check-in each time you visit at the Ticketing Area to receive your new wristband.
The last general admission ticket sale of the day is at 4 PM. If you plan on returning another day, the purchase of your general admission ticket may be applied toward the cost of a new Membership on the day of your visit. Speak to any Visitor Services Specialist for information regarding this benefit.
What you can expect during the different visitation seasons at Connecticut Science Center
- Mid-April through mid-June is school field trip season. This means weekdays will be populated with lots of happy, excited, energetic school children. Since most schools need to leave by 1:30, you might consider coming in the later afternoon during those days if you're hoping for a more relaxed visit.
- In July and August, the Science Center is bustling with the energy and enthusiasm of families on vacation. We're open 7 days a week in the summer to welcome all our vacationing visitors.
- The Science Center is an all season, all weather destination, so the fall and winter seasons are great times to visit. With the exception of Christmas break and February vacation weeks, there tend to be fewer school field trips. If you prefer a more relaxing visit, perhaps this is the season for you to come and explore.
Budgeting your time
Each person's experience at the Science Center is uniquely their own, but most visitors spend around 2 to 3 hours. With so much to see and do, we're pretty sure it will take you more than one visit to see and do all you really want.
For the complete experience, we encourage you to plan an hour to visit the Café, Gift Shop, and take in one of our state-of-the-art 3D films.
While you're in Hartford, we highly recommend you explore and enjoy the Phoenix Plaza, the Riverfront walk, and all the downtown dining, shopping and attractions the city has to offer. Hartford's Star Shuttle can take you to many of these destinations free of charge.
Touring the Science Center
All tours are self-guided. Upon entry, you'll receive a floor plan and visitors' guide so you can create your own adventure and explore at your own pace.
Live Science Demonstrations
LIVE SCIENCE: NO MATTER WHEN YOU VISIT!
Every day, Gallery Scientists offer activities, demonstrations, group challenges, and one-on-one investigations to help you uncover deeper science aspects behind our exhibits and shows. FREE with admission. Look for these and other Gallery Science programs each day!
All programs are subject to change without notice.
Fall 2009 Schedule Specific program times and topics posted daily throughout the Science Center.
River of Life Gallery | Level 6
Explore biology, planet Earth and our environment. Our hands-on lab provides all sorts of activities using microscopes and other data collection technologies: water quality testing, core sampling, stream table, air quality analysis, seismology, permeability testing, and more.
Invention Dimension Gallery | Level 5
Discover the creative side of science while exploring physics, robotics, engineering, and aerodynamics. Use unique equipment such as wind tunnels, load testing stands, force plates, circuits and more.
Throughout the Galleries
Gallery Scientists can be found throughout the Science Center doing a variety of demonstrations inspired by our exhibits, real-world events, and science that is just cool. Discover nanotechnology, chemistry, astronomy, electricity and magnetism, health and more.
Climate Change Show
Climate Change Theater | Level 6
A rubber-booted, informed sheep discusses the earth’s formation millions of years ago and how global gasses were distributed to allow life to form. Fast forwarding to the present, the sheep talks to us about our current lifestyle and how it impacts the entire planet. Seating is first come – first serve and is limited to 31. Show is 22 minutes in length. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.
Taking a break
If anyone in your family needs to take a break, get some fresh air, or even visit our downtown attractions, parks or restaurants, please note that your wristband provides you with access to the Science Center all day. You can exit and re-enter the building anytime during the day simply by showing your wristband to the attendant