Now that school is out for most everyone, parents will be searching for places to keep their kids occupied during the long days of summer. One of the best museums in Silicon Valley for children of all ages is the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose.
The Tech Museum is located next to the city’s central park - Plaza de Cesar Chavez, and just one block from the luxury high rise hotel, the Fairmont San Jose. Visitors to the museum will be embraced with three levels of galleries, with many interactional or hands on exhibits with a special focus on school aged children. Current galleries include the Tech Energy Gallery, where visitors can learn how to harness and use energy more efficiently and The Tech Silicon Valley Innovation Gallery, that is billed as the world’s only gallery that shows how Silicon Valley technologies are revolutionizing human thought creativity and communication.
Other interesting attractions include an earthquake simulator that enables visitors to experience what it might be like to be in a real earthquake located at the Exploration Gallery, a jet pack simulator at the Tech Exploration Gallery and ongoing special exhibits such as a real robot that can be programmed by visitors to perform tasks such as dancing to a familiar tune that will likely entertain anyone who’s nearby.
Besides the multi-level museum, there is Northern California’s only domed IMAX Theater with images four times the size of a normal movie theater. Movies currently being screened at the theater are “Roving Mars,” “To the Artic,” and “Born to Be Wild.” Individuals who purchase membership into the Family and Friends program have the option to rent out the entire theater for a birthday party, that includes access to all of the galleries and one IMAX film presentation. The museum also features a café and store in which to purchase souvenirs, post cards, books and other related gifts.
For first time visitors, it is suggested to purchase both admission to the galleries and the IMAX Theater, which is just $4 more. There is plenty of affordable parking nearby with two public access garages and street parking. More information can be obtained by going directly to their website listed below. Please note that the museum will be closed September 4 -7, 2012 but is open on the Fourth of July and Labor Day.
Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113